Opal is as Australian as snags on a barbie and a good pavlova, so why is the NSW Government taking a backwards step and ignoring the needs of our community?
There are so many great people behind opal: miners, merchants, tourist operators and entrepreneurs and they all embody the one thing we hold dear - the great Australian spirit of “having a go”.
The NSW Government is doing nothing to improve the lives of the community - miners and graziers alike. They have taken away the infrastructure levies - so there is no more money to rehabilitate the land after mining and establish and maintain access tracks. Some graziers are not happy with the current compensation offers - so they are restricting access to miners and trying to limit the amount of time miners can mine for. On top of this the NSW Government are charging the miners even more to mine in security deposits and administration fees.
It seems this is all about the money the Government isn’t getting from opal mining because we are small. However small miners are the only ones willing to risk resources to prospect and mine for opal with no guarantee of finding an economic deposit as no one can predict how or where opal may occur. Who are the government to take away our rights as Australians to earn a living and live the lifestyle we choose. Is it really only about the large mining companies that generate them a lot of revenue? Has Australia become the place only of big business?
We hope not and that is why we are asking all of you who care about the little guy - whether you are Australian or an opal lover and buyer around the world, to sign this petition and make yourself heard.
For more information about Lightning Ridge and opal and small scale mining, head to our website at www.lrma.com.au