I just noticed that the latest Government Gazette has raised penalty units to $154 each. I'm not sure what they were before, but have a look at how much you'd pay for the following offences:
- Prospecting without a licence (100 penalty units) = $15,400
- Mining without a lease (500 penalty units) = $77,000
- Exploration without a licence (100 penalty units) = $15,400
As far as I know they can also confiscate your gear. If you're swinging a top-of-the-range metal detector, that would put you out of pocket an extra 5-10K.
I'm still not happy about the blurred lines in the regulations and the law between prospecting and exploration, and the lack of information about what constitutes mining without a lease. Other states have this much better clarified, with clear rules on what you're allowed to take with your prospecting licence.
There's a bit of info in my latest blog post on the differences between prospecting and fossicking.
Is anyone in Hobart keen on having a meeting to organise an Association? I'm happy to organise it.