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Fossicking Act 1994 – 1 October 2014

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Fossicking Act 1994 – 1 October 2014

Fossicking Regulation 2009 – 1 July 2015

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An application may be made in the approved form to the relevant issuing officer (for the land) for an individual fossickers licence (among other licenses). Note: A licence must not be issued to a child, an authorised officer; or someone who held a licence cancelled not more than 2 years before the day of the application pursuant to subsection 16(3) of the Act. A licence is not transferable.

  • Sections 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19; Regulation 34

A person must not fossick for fossicking materials unless the person: (a) holds a licence (under this Act), (b) is a member of a club holding a licence; (c) is taking part in a commercial tour under the commercial tour operator’s fossickers licence; or (d) is a member of (i) an educational organisation holding a licence or (ii) a licensee’s family. Note: Where there is a mining claim or mining lease in place, subsection 25(2) may have application. The term ‘fossick’ is defined by section 5 of the Act to mean search for fossicking materials on the ground’s surface or by digging with a hand tool or collect fossicking materials. ‘Fossicking materials’ is defined in section 3 of the Act to mean: (a) a gemstone; (b) an ornamental stone; (c) a mineral specimen; (d) alluvial gold; (e) a fossil (other than a fossil of a vertebrate animal); or (f) a substance prescribed by regulation to be fossicking material. For the definition of ‘club’, refer to section 4 of the Act.

  • Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 25

A licensee may enter and fossick on unoccupied land. A licensee however must not fossick on occupied land (other than a road reserve, designated fossicking land or a fossicking area) without the owner’s written permission; or on land to which a mining claim or mining lease applies without the claim or lease holder’s written permission, or on land where a person may take quarry materials under a quarry materials permit without the permit holder’s written permission; or on land the subject of an exclusive possession determination without the written permission of the native title holders for the determination. Note: Conditions may be applied on entry pursuant to subsection 27(2) of the Act. Pursuant to section 34 of the Act, the licensee must pay royalties on the fossicking materials. In addition, a licensee must not sell the material in trade or commerce or use the material in the production of something else for trade or commerce (but exceptions do apply) – see section 36 of the Act and also section 40 of the Act. For the definition of ‘sell’, refer to section 3 of the Act.

  • Sections 3, 26, 27, 28, 29, 34, 35, 36, 40

A commercial tour operator must not conduct a commercial tour in which: (a) the members of the commercial tour group are allowed to fossick in more than 1 area at the same time; (b) there are more than 50 members of the commercial tour group who are allowed to fossick under the licence at the same time; or (c) members of the commercial tour group are allowed to fossick for fossils.

  • Section 31

A fossicking club must not allow: (a) the club’s members to fossick under the club’s licence in more than 1 area at the same time; or (b) more than 50 members to fossick under the club’s licence at the same time.

  • Section 32

A regulation may restrict the volume, weight or number of fossicking material specimens an individual may collect on particular land.

  • Section 37

A person fossicking under a licence must not use machinery or equipment (other than a hand tool) to fossick. For the definition of ‘hand tool’, refer to section 3 of the Act.

  • Sections 3, 38

A person fossicking under a licence must not dig below ground level to a depth of more than 0.5m in a watercourse or 2m on other land.

  • Section 39

A declaration of land as designated fossicking land or a fossicking area does not affect a person’s title to land unless the owner’s agreement to the declaration contains terms binding on the State and the owner and the owner’s successors in title. To view land that is designated fossicking land, see Schedule 2 of the Fossicking Regulation 2009 and to view land that is a fossicking area, refer to Schedule 3 of the same regulation.

  • Sections 45, 48; Regulations 4, 5, Schedules 2, 3

An owner of designated fossicking land or land in a fossicking area must not charge a fee for fossicking on the land.

  • Section 46

A person must not carry out a trading or commercial activity on designated fossicking land or a fossicking area. Note: Exceptions apply. This provision does not apply to lawful activities by or for the owner of the land or the holder of a mining claim or lease over the land. It also does not prevent a commercial tour group visiting the land under a commercial tour operator’s fossicking licence.

  • Section 55

A person must not live on designated fossicking land or a fossicking area without the government’s written permission. Note: Exceptions apply. This provision does not apply to an owner of occupied land in designated fossicking land or a fossicking area, or a member of the owner’s family, a lessee or sub-lessee from the owner, or anyone living on the land with the owner’s permission (among other exceptions).

  • Sections 56, 68, 70, 106

A person on designated fossicking land or a fossicking area must not: (a) obstruct a person lawfully on the land or area, unless the person has a reasonable excuse; (b) be disorderly; or (c) create a disturbance, unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

  • Section 57

An application may be made to the government in the approved form for the fossicking camping permits outlined in section 58 of the Act. Note: Self-registration may be permitted.

  • Sections 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64; Regulation 35

A person must not camp on regulated camping land unless the person: (a) holds a permit; (b) is a member of a club holding a permit; (c) is taking part in a commercial tour under the commercial tour operator’s permit; or (d) is a member of (i) an educational organisation holding a permit; or (ii) a permit holder’s family. Note: If the land is occupied land or land to which a mining claim or mining lease applies, a person fossicking under a licence must not camp on the land without the owner’s, or claim or lease holder’s, permission. For land that is regulated camping land, refer to Schedule 5 of the Fossicking Regulation 2009. For the definition of ‘camp’, refer to section 3 of the Act.

  • Sections 3, 66, 67, 69, 70, 106; Regulation 7, Schedule 5

A person fossicking under a licence or camping under a permit must not: (a) deface, destroy or injure a tree; (b) clear vegetation for a purpose other than digging the land cleared; (c) pollute a watercourse or a receptacle used for water storage; (d) dig in land in a way likely to cause a gully to form, or banks to collapse, on land around the land dug; (e) place material dug on a slope where water may wash it away; or (f) interfere with improvements, a site of cultural heritage significance or domestic stock.

  • Regulation 12

The person must not fossick within 40m of a weir, bridge or other structure in or over the watercourse; or a site of a pump used to pump water from the watercourse. For a full listing of watercourse fossicking restrictions, refer to regulation 13 of the Fossicking Regulation 2009.

  • Regulation 13

A person who has stopped fossicking or camping on land must, immediately before leaving the land, make the person’s fossicking or camp site safe for other fossickers, stock and the owner of the land, for example, by filling in any place dug by the person. The person must also pull down the person’s camping structures; and leave the site tidy and free from rubbish.

  • Regulation 15

A person must not, without the government’s written approval, display an advertisement on a fossicking area, unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

  • Regulation 20
Reason for law

N/A

Relevant links

Fossicking in Queensland [Queensland Government]

Purchase a fossicking licence or fossicking camping permit

Fossicking rules and responsibilities

Suggested links

Queensland Prospecting Club

Gem Fossicking Australia

Media article

Miners common to be restocked at reduced capacity

Critique

Regulation 21 may be overly prescriptive. It may unnecessarily prohibit freedom of speech.

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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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