08 Aug 2012

More Prospecting in Parks to be considered in Victoria


Prospectors are applauding the announcement by the Baillieu Coalition Government that they will fulfill their pre-election promise to review the exclusion of recreational prospecting from Victoria's world famous goldfields.

Victoria was built on gold; it has played a significant role in our history and it continues to be important to our social and economic wellbeing and we expect it to remain important to our future.

Modern prospectors have a strong environmental conscience and I am confident this will be recognised by the Victorian Environment Assessment Council's Investigation into the lifting of prohibitions on our low-key activities.

A gold pan and metal detector are typical tools used by today's prospectors, these have no environmental impact whatsoever. We appreciate the time taken by Ministers O'Brien and Smith to see for themselves just what 21st century prospecting involves.

Prospecting is especially important to the economies of many small towns; some areas are being denied this tourism income because of the prohibitions on our activities. What other hobby is there that encourages activity in people of all ages in Victoria's great outdoors, gives an appreciation of the environment plus has the added possibility of finding gold?

We are privileged to have the best gold nugget fields in the world. The largest nugget ever found, the Welcome Stranger, was found at Moliagul. More recently nuggets up to 876oz have been found with metal detectors in our goldfields.

Since November 2011, over 300,000 people have viewed the PMAV's YouTube video - '21st Century Prospecting'. Such is the interest in searching for gold.

The goldfields belong to all Victorians and I encourage everyone to buy a Miners Right, grab a gold pan or metal detector and join us, but be careful there is no cure for gold fever! 

The Government will seek public comment as part of the VEAC investigation. Terms of reference are available on DSE website: or through

Media Statement by Rita Bentley,
President, Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria.

Ballarat. 7th August, 2012.

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