Author Topic: NSW Dept of PERE campaign against highbankers, they are now illegal in NSW  (Read 17492 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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Re: NSW Dept of PERE campaign against highbankers, they are now illegal in NSW
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2018, 01:32:43 PM »
 I never have and  never will use such things


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Re: NSW Dept of PERE campaign against highbankers, they are now illegal in NSW
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2018, 10:35:26 AM »
Gemster - what is the link to join NAPFA again?


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Re: NSW Dept of PERE campaign against highbankers, they are now illegal in NSW
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2018, 11:40:01 AM »
- what is the link to join NAPFA again?

it is on this page, click  on Join the Rebellion

 beers Jerry

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.


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NAPFA are keeping members up to date on this important issue , please consider joining the cause.

It is the clause in the regulation "processing on any lands" that the regulator is basing decisions to enforce compliance and if you look in the Collins dictionary at the literal meaning  :-

"the act or process of treating or preparing something by a special method"

And "on any lands" includes private land

So what concerns me is that under this vague wording - could that be extended to Lapidary or gemcutting at home?

And indeed it could apply to a small recirculating sluice and bilge pump  at home to process cons or material taken from the field.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 10:26:42 AM by prospector007 »


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Well actually prospector007, NAPFA is not forthcoming with what is going on... Reason is they can't. They have been directed by the Minister to be patient.. There is a lot of things happening behind the scene that Members don't know about... Things are in a very delicate situation with the Department... I know this cause I have spoken to the Secretary, and Committee Members several times in the past 3 weeks... We should have some more News in a few weeks as there are many Departments involved in this.. All under the same Minister.... A fine example of the Left hand not knowing what the Right hand is doing...

 We probably will never get the use of our Sluices Back, but NAPFA is trying to get the confusing Rules clarified so you, me and joe blow know Exactly what we can and can't do... A fine example is just what you have asked.. Re, the use of a recirculating sluice on private lands... and Lapidary and Gemcutting... The Laws are just too vague for Us to understand... 
 The Departments can't even get their wording correct and all reference is now made to Fossickers.... Not Fossickers and Prospectors as these are 2 entirely different Meanings...

The way I look at the whole situation is, We will have a fight on our hands, just like what is happening down in Victoria... This is ALL connected, and what is going on down south WILL happen in NSW soon...

 OUR Hobby is very much under threat Nationwide...  beers

  Gemster... beers
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 12:13:12 PM by Gemster »
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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prospector007 I tried to send you a PM??,,,, can't send PM's to Guests... 8)

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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