Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

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Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  gcause on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:20 am

I have served on many industry bodies lobbying government for change in the IT industry in Australia for over 6 years. During that time I have learned that Governments are made up of people just like you and me that want to do the right thing and serve the people but they struggle to understand how to do so when they have multiple voices shouting at them each with their own agenda. Having an industry association represent the needs of its membership is the only way to have a single united voice that will be heard by Government and allow influence on changes to government policy. It is also all about having the numbers behind you to make them stand up and notice.

I have taken up gold prospecting as a hobby and have heard the issues facing the recreational and the small professional prospectors and miners alike. I believe the time has come to organise and act given events in NT and other states right now regarding land access.

Industry bodies currently do exist like the Minerals Council of Australia but I believe they represent the big end of town and not the recreational and the small professional prospectors and miners who have no voice to speak for them right now apart from the dedication and hard work of smaller industry associations like PMAV.

I applaud the work of the existing associations such as PMAV but they can only do so much being state based however they have certainly been punching above their weight in recent times.

I have been thinking of creating a national version of PMAV. The Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA) its a working title.

Here are my thoughts on how it should operate:

It would be a purely not for profit industry association representing the rights of prospectors and miners in Australia.

It would operate under a set of Rules of Association that would be registered under the Associations Incorporation Act.

It would have chapters in each state and territory in Australia. Hopefully PMAV would be open to the idea of becomming the first of these.

Founding principles:
1. Support the mining industry in Australia;
2. Protect the rights of prospectors and miners in Australia;
3. Maintain unity for without it we will have nothing left of our industry;
4. Ensure access to land in a sustainable, respectful and responsible manner under a genuine miners right granted by the government;
5. Enforce an ethical code of conduct for the membership;
6. Educate the public on the mining industry and prospecting in general;
7. Provide a private forum which gives members opportunities to debate issues that affect their industry and recreational prospecting;
8. Provide a self help organisation which educates its membership with regular events and members meetings where people can network;

It would be a member driven association by members for members.

There would be one flat membership fee annually so no one would have more of a say than any other member and it would be made affordable by all. i.e. somewhere in the range of $25 to $50 per year.

The board would be formed by the membership with members representing other members on a volunteer basis, there would be no member money going into committee members pockets. Board members could only serve one year and then their positions would be up for election by the membership. Each year an AGM would be held to elect the new committee and discuss the years achievements and the way forward for the next year. AGM's would be open to all members to attend and vote.

Administration fees would be kept to a minimum and the accounts independently audited each year and published to the membership to ensure transparency.

There would be lifetime memberships for those who have served the industry for a long time as recognition of their long standing contribution to the membership.

There would be sponsorship opportunities with the understanding that all sponsor proceeds would go into the work of lobbying government on member issues and running member events. Sponsors would not be given membership lists and the association would protect the privacy of the members and their personal details. Sponsors would have the right to speak / present on a topic at a member event without selling product or pushing an agenda. Product sales can be done outside the association in their normal manner. Sponsorships would work on a tiered payment structure of Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsorships each with separate rights and entitlements. Sponsors may choose to provide discounts to members of the association.

There would be associate memberships for companies that wanted to support the goals of the membership.

All membership, sponsor and associate applications would be vetted and approved by the board.

A quarterly newsletter would be established and a website to co-ordinate it all.

Let me know your thoughts on all this.
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  matelot on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:28 am

Great idea. I'm in.
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Harb on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:10 am

A lot of work....but if you can do it and get the right people together you also have my full support.
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:18 am

I have heard the idea of a national body for prospecting raised a few times but this is the first time i have seen such thaught put into how it would be setup and run. Looks like you have put some effort into it great work cheers
I would happily support something like this and would be more than willing to help if needed.

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National Body for Prospectors

Post  starry on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:47 am

Yes I will be in on this as you know we have lost rights to sluice in TAS so count me in , any help help that is needed I am willing


Cheers Mick (sluicer who can,t sluice)
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:39 am

Got my vote gcause: PMAV would need to be integrated into the system, otherwise you'll have people having to fork out even more $? Sad
Good Luck.

Cheers
Chris.

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Australia Prospectors & Miners Association

Post  sandy2010 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:27 pm

Hi gcause,
Great idea......a HUGE project, but your thought construction intimates you are able to carry the project through.

One suggestion .......the initials are similar to what we have in WA......APLA (Aust Prospectors & Leaseholders Association).........might lead to confusion.

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APMA

Post  cranky on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:48 pm

Great idea, would support it fully.
Disagree with someday when it comes to integrating the PMAV however.
When we have a proven organisation that has a string of achievements to its credit why hazard it by linking it to an, as yet, unproven new organisation.
If it aint broke dont stuff around with it, as an established organisation it would better serve as a support unit for the newer project.

Just my thoughts...Cranky
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Scrat on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:53 pm

A great idea!
A lot of work initially for volunteers.
Maybe it would need one of the existing associations to take on the initial organization or possibly a corporate sponsor.
It has the potential to be a great organization.

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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Kon61gold on Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:57 pm

Good idea and I agree. However as it stands we have two associations PMAV and APLA which represent the biggest gold producing states. As you have rightly pointed out, a National Body could support the other states.

Before going ahead, the PMAV and APLA would need to be consulted and it appears that there would have to be a consensus of opinion for both bodies to give up their state identity to join a national body. This would be your hardest task, for the question remains - what is in it for them?

I suggest that if you want to go down this path then create a National Association with PMAV and APLA being members. The majority of your membership will be from the other states not represented at the moment. I suggest you need at least two members from these states and one from PMAV and APLA.

Also as it is National, you would have to determine how you are going to meet and make decisions. Conference calls and video links. I am quite comfortable for you to use this forum as you see fit in this regard and assist you where I can.

Regards

Jeff
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Goldbait on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:14 pm

I'm happy to support any organisation that help our right as hobbiest prospectors. I wish there was something in qld that did this.
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Wombat on Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:07 pm

I agree with Jefgold but I also agree that the other States need help and very soon if they want to keep what they still have for prospecting left open. So if the other States can organise something very fast like the PMAV, in there State, then they can all join in as an national united body to fight a common course Australia wide and also fight there own individual problems in their own State as a single unit if needs be.

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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Detrackozi on Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:20 pm

gcause

The idear is good but at less you could do is put your name to the post, I would doubt the PMAV would like it and not sure if many could afford to pay another yearly fee.

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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:01 pm

Hi Gcause,
I am with other members on this and think its a great idea.

There has been a few post recently regarding forming a Political party etc, also with your suggestion to have a National body to represent us (professionals, semi professionals or just a hobbyist.)
Obviously there is a reason why these post/topics appear on this forum-trying to keep and protect the conditions which we enjoy now.

I am quite new in this hobby (pure hobby-maybe 20 detecting days a year). Fortunate to be able to be member of a detecting club and also joined PMAV.
Last year attended the General annual meeting of PMAV in Rushwort.I was so impressed with work and effort of this organization.
I personally believe (and reading comments of other member from different States) PMAV is the leading organization in this type of work in the country.
They do unbelievable job in Victoria.
What was really disappointing to hear on that meeting was that lot of semi professional and professional miners are not members of this organization.
I think that is quite appalling. Considering cost of the membership and what we do get in a return is unmeasurable.

I can see you are from Queensland and you have a such experience behind you.
I also believe that before we run we have to crawl and learn to walk. In the other words to have a strong National body we need strong bodies in each State.
Why not organize/form/improve a body in Queensland with similar strengths, enthusiasm and spirit as Victoria.With your expertise and lot of our members that can be achieved in relatively short period. Having few strong States we can elect representatives of each state and make this National body.
If we can have a few people like Rita Bentley (President of PMAV) representing each State i am confident that we will be very, very successful.

Please everyone do not read anything in my post as negative, there is just my opinion and few suggestions/ideas.

Whatever the members decide to do or whoever represent us i will support them 100%.
GoldEN



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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Imadogman on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:29 pm

Excellent posts and good to see ideas around how it might work. I’m in for what we can do with this. These are exciting times.

It would be great if someone from the PMAV or APLA could give us the benefit of their thoughts? Are you there guys? Earlier this year I spoke to someone from PMAV who said there had been some thought in the past to get into NSW but it proved to be a duffer. Maybe this time we will have better luck.

I agree with Jefgold that when you sift through it, perhaps the best idea is to convince PMAV (or APLA) to go national and using PMAV as a base structure, scale it up to be national. This would need a national executive and members in each state willing to take on local activity within state chapters – especially membership drives and local lobbying. However the internet is a great tool and this forum has a lot of members already. A really good start.

I agree that PMAV or APLA would need to see merit in going beyond their current roles and ‘risk it’ with a national organisation. However it also increases their status and is a worthy extension of their core goals. With the benefit of their experience and association documentation it would be easier than starting with a blank slate.

In time you would see:
Prospectors and Miners Association (Australia) PMAA
Prospectors’ and Miners Association (New South Wales)
Etc.

I have a niggling reservation about the use of the word ‘miners’. Our miners are very different to the likes of professional mining companies. Given the public concerns about things like coal seam gas and environmental damage by major miners the word ‘miners’ is almost a nasty word in Qld and NSW and may be more hindrance than help. Miners also equals BIG HOLES which is something we should stay away from because it scares people in the community. The Minerals Council of Australia looks after the big end of town.

Therefore, should we consider working in ‘metal detecting’ rather than miners? This could also appeal to relic and coin hunters who may be feeling a bit left out with all the focus on the yellow stuff. “Metal Detecting and Prospecting Association” may be a better description of what we are doing. It is more inclusive and avoids the negative connotations of ‘Miners’. From what I can see Prospectors is accurate.

Formation of an association does not remove the need to also get ourselves onto the political landscape. Indeed the formation of such an association would give impetus to consideration by all political parties of what we want. However it does not stop some parties like Katters or Shooters taking note of our concerns now, especially in time for the Queensland election. They don’t need our permission to work the words “prospecting and metal detecting” into their goals. They can do that now.

To move the association idea forward there probably needs to be a working party of forum members to conduct discussion with PMAV and APLA and take action. Their annual general meetings may be the time to get them to agree to go upscale or affiliate but there would need to be a lot of advance work.

Perhaps our forum moderators could create a special section on our forum to pursue this topic and transfer relevant posts to one spot?
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  gcause on Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:59 pm

Jefgold wrote:Good idea and I agree. However as it stands we have two associations PMAV and APLA which represent the biggest gold producing states. As you have rightly pointed out, a National Body could support the other states.

Before going ahead, the PMAV and APLA would need to be consulted and it appears that there would have to be a consensus of opinion for both bodies to give up their state identity to join a national body. This would be your hardest task, for the question remains - what is in it for them?

I suggest that if you want to go down this path then create a National Association with PMAV and APLA being members. The majority of your membership will be from the other states not represented at the moment. I suggest you need at least two members from these states and one from PMAV and APLA.

Also as it is National, you would have to determine how you are going to meet and make decisions. Conference calls and video links. I am quite comfortable for you to use this forum as you see fit in this regard and assist you where I can.

Regards

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

Thank you for the offer to use the forum to discuss the issue.

> However as it stands we have two associations PMAV and APLA which represent the biggest gold producing states. As you have rightly pointed out, a National Body could support the other states.

Dont want to start a state of origin type discussion here as to who has the most gold, lets just agree there is a lot of mineral wealth in all the states Very Happy

> Before going ahead, the PMAV and APLA would need to be consulted and it appears that there would have to be a consensus of opinion for both bodies to give up their state identity to join a national body. This would be your hardest task, for the question remains - what is in it for them?

Definitely consulting with the other associations is a key priority. I dont believe the other associations would have to give up their identity, in fact I think diversity is a good thing. It allows people to focus on their niche market. I do however believe the associations could use the national body as their ONE VOICE to government to forward the common aims of the associations. Australia is a great country where you can agree to disagree on the small issues and yet still co-operate and reach agreement on the really important common matters. I have seen this work here in Queensland in the IT industry. At the last Qld election we actually united the entire set of associations in a peaceful rally and had them all dressed in a yellow t-shirt with the common aim on it embalzened in large red letters. Anna Bligh couldnt help but take notice of that sea of yellow at her election address to the IT industry at the press club function. We also had a full page advertisment in the Australian that laid out the key issues and the proposed solutions. These formed the basis for on-going discussions following the election.

The stories I am seeing about the issues facing the prospecting and mining industry are no different to what we faced in the IT industry. I saw the same thing in the IT industry 6 years ago and we got a lot of traction with government to the point where we now have an ICT working group in Qld that has ministerial representation at its meetings. The relationship with ICT industry and government has now never been better and we make more gains for both government and industry each day.

This is not an easy task to embark on but if we dont do it now it will be too late. There is an old saying based on "Strike while the iron is hot" and that is "Dont wait for the iron to be hot to strike, instead strike and make the iron hot."

I have found over my time lobbying government that if you just explain the issue clearly and concisely to Government then it will get a hearing. They may indeed have very good reasons for why they see things differently but it is generally a breakdown in communication or an education process that is causing the issues. It really is that simple.

You see it is far easier for them to ban something they dont understand than take the time to investigate it. It is just a matter of bringing everything back to first principles and then working with them from there. You will be surprised what can be achieved if you are polite, understanding and sensitive to their needs while you work on achieving your own aims through good communication and education. PMAV is a great example of this.

Putting infrastructure in place for associations is something I have a lot of experience with so the details can be dealt with. It is more a matter of support for the idea and so far I am seeing a lot of support and some great ideas. The key to this will be to keep the momentum going and provide good open communication with everyone.

Regards,

Grant


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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Kon61gold on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:01 pm

Well I can create another area for you as suggested and give it a go a period of time. There needs to be a driver and others to support them. I suggest that you call for members to be on an interim 'committee' to discuss the ideas from this topic.

The other thing is that looking at members who have supported the proposal, there should be much more support from dealers and members from the non representative states with ideas as well.

When you have this support then maybe the idea will be more viable.

Jeff
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  gcause on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:18 pm

golden wrote:Hi Gcause,
I am with other members on this and think its a great idea.

There has been a few post recently regarding forming a Political party etc, also with your suggestion to have a National body to represent us (professionals, semi professionals or just a hobbyist.)
Obviously there is a reason why these post/topics appear on this forum-trying to keep and protect the conditions which we enjoy now.

I am quite new in this hobby (pure hobby-maybe 20 detecting days a year). Fortunate to be able to be member of a detecting club and also joined PMAV.
Last year attended the General annual meeting of PMAV in Rushwort.I was so impressed with work and effort of this organization.
I personally believe (and reading comments of other member from different States) PMAV is the leading organization in this type of work in the country.
They do unbelievable job in Victoria.
What was really disappointing to hear on that meeting was that lot of semi professional and professional miners are not members of this organization.
I think that is quite appalling. Considering cost of the membership and what we do get in a return is unmeasurable.

I can see you are from Queensland and you have a such experience behind you.
I also believe that before we run we have to crawl and learn to walk. In the other words to have a strong National body we need strong bodies in each State.
Why not organize/form/improve a body in Queensland with similar strengths, enthusiasm and spirit as Victoria.With your expertise and lot of our members that can be achieved in relatively short period. Having few strong States we can elect representatives of each state and make this National body.
If we can have a few people like Rita Bentley (President of PMAV) representing each State i am confident that we will be very, very successful.

Please everyone do not read anything in my post as negative, there is just my opinion and few suggestions/ideas.

Whatever the members decide to do or whoever represent us i will support them 100%.
GoldEN



> I also believe that before we run we have to crawl and learn to walk. In the other words to have a strong National body we need strong bodies in each State.
Why not organize/form/improve a body in Queensland with similar strengths, enthusiasm and spirit as Victoria.With your expertise and lot of our members that can be achieved in relatively short period. Having few strong States we can elect representatives of each state and make this National body.
If we can have a few people like Rita Bentley (President of PMAV) representing each State i am confident that we will be very, very successful.

I completely agree about having to learn to walk before we can run and each state would have to setup an association and I would like to discuss with Rita the possibility of creating a PMAQ to represent the Queensland prospectors and miners as a starting point. Working with Victoria, Queensland could make similar strides towards the common goals.

Once each state is represented we could then unite them under a national body to provide the ONE VOICE to government to address the common goals.
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:07 pm

Your a brave man Jeff Razz It's for a great cause without a doubt, and it has my vote 100%.
The idea, working from this or any other forum, spells disaster from word GO.
Maybe there's away you could limit the reply time to a set time slot! Big ask, but surely possible?

Sorry gcause you beet me to it! Your on the right track mate.

Cheers
Chris.

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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Wombat on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:03 am

This same sort of discussion is happening at the momment on the Alluvial Prospecting Forum about NSW prospectors trying to get back their Miners Rights and with Tasmania getting new prospecting laws that has been brought into Parliment restricting high bankers and sluicing. So the momentum has started, all we need for it to fire up properly in each State and get a prospecting organisation formed in each of those States and we will have a United Body.So chaps just don't talk about it, get it happening.

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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  bedrock on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:50 am

and to get our voice heard even more
the prospecting fraternity should team
up with other bush user groups.....
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:57 am

I think that's the part that pi@#'s most people off? You can rip up tracks with your fourby all over our National parks, they'll even give you a map!

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Re APMA

Post  bundy06 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:59 am

I for one am 100%for this proposal,I agree that we need to get each state and territory up and running then to go national
I am soooooooo excited cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers
Regards Dave Cartwright
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  crack-hardy on Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:11 am

All such organisations/unions serve and help their purpose at fighting for the under-dog.

I would like to help and support such a movement.








Crack-hardy..
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Kon61gold on Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:52 am

At the moment I counted three members from Queensland supporting the idea. It may be appropriate to start up some new topics - say - Queenslanders we need you! NSW we need you! maybe have one for each other State. You can spell out what you want and see the support you get. You would need a driver for each State, although at this stage we are just gauging support.

Jeff

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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Harb on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:02 am

someday wrote:I think that's the part that pi@#'s most people off? You can rip up tracks with your fourby all over our National parks, they'll even give you a map!

Geez what state are you from.... I have been involved in 4wd for a couple of decades at all levels, and I know of NO states that allow this.............in fact we are constantly involved in battles with State and federal government to just keep tracks open at all.
The 4wd lobby is a big and reasonably powerful one, with a large retail and manufacturing section involved , plus individuals , and we struggle to keep ahead of the Green movement and all those that want the gates closed.......... I think you aught to be thankful that we are there at all, because I can tell you, without the fight that is constantly fought, there would be no vehicle access to any of the places you can currently go.
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  davsgold on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:11 am

G'day Harb

I think we as prospectors and detector opperators need to get onside with the 4x4 lobby, not antagoinse them. We all have a common cause and that is to be able to use the land for our chosen hobby.

cheers dave
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Harb on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:28 am

I totally agree, and I know that the 4wd community would be sympathetic about the detectorists cause..... we are all basically fighting for the same thing...access so we can partake in our hobbies.
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Greenwell2 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:12 am

Howdy all,
A few years ago now I was a office holding member of the Lapidary club here in Devonport. Lapidary in Oz is pretty well organised with a 3 tiered structure. Individual club representatives run a state body ( called the TLMA - Tasmanian Lapidary and Mineral Association) which in turn sends reps to the National body which name escapes me at the moment ( well it has been a few years). Maybe this sort of structure could be used to get the ball rolling here.
Roger
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Re: Australia Prospectors and Miners Association (APMA)

Post  Kon61gold on Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:20 pm

What seems to be coming forward is that there are strong related organisations and associations in each state. Whilst the thought is to have a national association, it maybe an idea to get on board some of those associations and include what you want in their charter.

Maybe an easier way forward than trying to set up a small interested group of prospectors as you would already have the organisation and infrastructure for a lobby group.

Jeff
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