Here is a message from the APLA President:
Two weeks ago, as a result of complaints from pastoral companies and smaller pastoral leaseholders, APLA was invited to take part
in a meeting regarding allegations of damage and illegal activities done by prospectors as if we didnt have enough to do!
The attendees were representatives from DMIRS, PGA, Pastoral Lands Board, DPLH and a pastoral leaseholder from the Murchison
area and APLA.
There are many prospectors out there who are not APLA members, and therefore arent bound by APLAs Code of Conduct.
Neither do they seem to be bound by any rules, laws or conduct codes whatsoever. They simply go where they want, do what they want,
damage what they want, shoot what they want, steal what they want etc. But when it comes to cutting fences, leaving gates open,
tearing a gate off its hinges, illegal earthmoving, damage to stock wells, stealing solar panels and pumps, shooting cattle etc, thats not
just being a nuisance, thats criminal damage and theft. Driving on wet tracks and cutting them up is also damage and compensation can
be pursued in a civil court if youre caught.
We all know this happens. Over the years, Ive seen it myself and Ive been provided with the photographic evidence to prove other instances.
However, APLA explained at the meeting that we cannot be held responsible for those that are not our members and neither do we have any
control over those non-members. APLA asked why PLHs and the PGA werent demanding action from the WA Police and pursuing these people
through court action. APLA stated that the constant complaining from PLHs but being not supported by affirmative action could be perceived
seen as just whingeing. APLAs opinion was that PLHs are their own worst enemy by not taking action but instead were pursuing APLA and
its members. That type of action to resolve these issues was bordering on pointless. It may be in the future that PLHs may just take the
initiative and start pursuing legal action for the wrongdoers. In that respect, youve been warned I suppose!
But pursuing the good guys with more rules and codes while taking no action to pursue the bad guys is only going to increase the tensions
we have at present. All a bit wrong way around wouldnt you think?
For a few years now DMIRS have been issuing all the advisory documents to prospectors when they get a Miners Right. Its in a nice new, shiny,
manufactured folder. I was shocked to hear that a lot of prospectors dont even bother to read it. And then we wonder why we have confrontations
and the persistent complaints from both sides.
Nevertheless, APLA has agreed to take part in more meetings to thrash out a Code of Conduct between prospectors and PLHs.
We already have the DMIRS booklet The Golden Rules Of Prospecting, thats been out for decades, but seems it doesnt meet the desires of the
Pastoral Industry. It remains to be seen what will arise from these meetings but rest assured that while APLA will make every effort to assist the
development of a Code, we will not be conceding any of the rights weve had for over 100 years. As APLA predicted a couple of years ago, the
pressures against recreational prospectors are building and its not the fault of the good guys. Its the bad guys that will see this freedom taken
away from us.
More soon as it comes in.
Thanks for posting.....
It only takes a few idiots to stuff it for the rest ....
We all eek to get tarred with the one brush.....