Council has called on the state government to reconsider the tenure capping proposed on small-scale mining claims.
In its most recent consultation paper, the Department of Resources has sought to make legislative enhancements to the way in which it regulates small-scale mining claims.
With over 1600 of the near 1900 claims in Queensland being within the Gemfields, the potential impact of changes will be felt the most in the Central Highlands region.
Council have worked in conjunction with state government for over two years on the proposed improvements to the management of small scale claims. The recently released papers show evidence that council’s suggestions regarding safety, compliance functions, new application requirements and evidence of activity have been considered and included as a result of this collaboration.
‘As advocates for our communities, our concern is centered around the proposed tenure cap,’ said Mayor Kerry Hayes.
‘Our view is that if you increase fees and have a greater focus on compliance, there is no need to cap. With capping comes uncertainty, particularly around investing to mine’, he continued.
Council has met with the department to share its concerns on the capping as well as other matters such as structures on claims and transfer arrangements.
‘The meeting was positive. It’s not about just saying we don’t like the proposal, it’s about presenting evidence and offering alternatives.
‘Council acknowledges that there needs to be improvements to the process. These improvements need to be balanced with transitional arrangements that will enable the Gemfields as the last miners common in Australia, to continue to prosper with a certain future.’ Mayor Hayes concluded.
Submissions on the consultation paper close 8 December 2023. Council encourages residents and claim-holders to provide their feedback directly to the state government by filling out the online survey here.
If you have any enquiries, please contact council on 1300 242 686.