Author Topic: NSW Dept of PERE campaign against highbankers, they are now illegal in NSW  (Read 683 times)


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Yes Crocket i can understand what you are saying and this is where the conjecture has always come from.

I am not trying to say I am right, just what i have come to understand and my opinions formed from what research i have done.

Again i can only relate back to when i talked to the DPI back in 2011/2012 and at the time the head of the department was not even aware there was a clause in the water act allowing the use of a petrol pump for the purpose of fossicking.
When he heard this his response was that it was only for "supplying water". Well thats what a petrol pump does for a highbanker, it supplies water for the highbanker to use.
Yes the water aids in the processing of the paydirt along with the sluice, but again the only thing the mechanical pump is processing is water, not paydirt.
A highbanker as we have all said could easily be run without being directly hooked up to the pump, by means or reservoir, buckets or just hosing into the hopper, but in general this is just less efficient. Yet a highbanker is a static object with no moving parts, so how is it even looked at to be mechanical just because we are using a water pump to supply water.

Siltation should not be an issue as highbankers are ment to be used in places where there is no water for slucing and to avoid carting dirt to the water you bring the water to the dirt.
Even restoring soil profile should be easier with a highbanker as you can sluice back into your hole resoring the soil profile as you go, as oppose to panning and sluicing where the majority of the rocks and dirt are washed into the creek/river or piled on the banks.

I am not saying everyone with a highbanker does the right thing, just as with every hobby you have those that try to do the right thing and those that don't give a stuff.
I have made mistakes in the past, but have always tried to do the right thing, seeing how some sites are left, and not just by people highbanking, makes me sick to my stomach, so it does not surprise me they are looking for a scapegoat.

I think they would have a much easier time pinging people for not filling in holes, for digging more than 1M^3 in a 48hr period, for digging into banks and silting up waterways than they will for using a highbanker under the current wording, but again thats just my 2 cents.


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Yes mate, I do understand.

At the end of the day the Compliance Officers have been told by the Department that it is illegal.  Officers have been directed to carry out enforcement actions during the designated months.  You can be sure that they will also be putting in 'returns' to the Department at the end of the period indicating how many 'breaches' they have detected and how many prosecutions they have instigated.

People just need to be aware of that.  It is not cheap defending matters at Court, whatever the outcome.  Perhaps a clearer definition may come in the future.

All the best, David.


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A rule of statutory interpretation is that if legislation is  not clear you can look to the surrounding provisions and the purpose of the legislation, gleaned from explanatory memoranda and parliamentary speaches as aids to interpretation.  If dealing with ordinances and regulations you may have to look at guidance notes from the person making or enforcing the rule.

A highbanker without a pump is not much different to a seiv or willoughby.  Altkough with a moving part a willoughby is closer to a machine.

I think you would be hard pressed to argue any pump supplying waterto a highbanker is legal in NSW and although I have not looked at the legislation, in Qld.

Yours Sincerely
Flash (Gordon)


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 ;)  I trust your Judgment on this one Mr Crocket.... There are Meetings taking place Next Week between NAPFA and the Department, So We might have some Clarification soon....

  Gemster..... beers
I swing a 12-pound hammer,smash gibbers by the ton
I used to think it convict work,but now i think it's FUN


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