Land Access for Prospectors

The PMAV continues to fight for your right to prospect on public land.

Land access is one of the most important issues facing both hobbyist and professional prospectors and miners today.
Victoria being a closely settled state has a high demand on the use of Public Land for both recreational and commercial activities.
This has resulted in large tracts of land being designated as National and State Parks, reserves and any one of a multitude of  titles, all designed to lock-out recreational users, including prospecting.

Federal and State Government policies and legislation such as the Regional Forest Agreements, prohibition of access to many of Victoria’s Parks and reserves, and over zealous management principles have all placed further restrictions on our activities. Land is continually being locked away from both corporate and non-corporate mining operators alike.

The lock-up of land will continue unless the PMAV and other like minded groups, like the Bush User Groups United (BUGU) make a stand.

The current administration in Victoria and the uncertainty are enough to make many miners question the viability of future operations.  Green groups constantly demand further and further controls and restrictions.
This has resulted in policies and legislation that quite often does not inter-connect with other policies and programs in existence within other government departments.

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) is at the heart of these lock-ups and has direct ties to the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) an activist group who are constantly pushing for further areas to be closed and turned into National Parks.
They specifically want to ban prospecting in these areas.

The Victorian government has classified prospecting as a ‘LOW IMPACT’ recreational pursuit, yet it has been the first activity they wish to ban in the formation of National Parks?!
This is unwarranted and at the front of our continuing fight.

Native vegetation permitted clearing regulations

The PMAV believes the current system regulating removal of native vegetation is fundamentally flawed. It is bordering on extortion. The system is working as a significant, and perhaps deliberate, disincentive to economic development.

Local councils are also becoming highly regulated and enacting more costs and delays to small scale mining. The current system is costly, bureaucratic and complex but, despite this, it does not result in even one more tree or blade of grass being planted.
We are proposing significant changes to the current native vegetation system.

We are asking for prospectors and small scale miners to join our fight.

If we lose these areas, other open goldfields will be inundated by prospectors being forced out of these now closed parks and into decreasing smaller prospecting areas.

Here is a Summary of what the PMAV and their members have achieved for ALL prospectors and miners in Victoria since their creation in 1980.

  • In 2002 the PMAV prevented the Iron Bark Forest from being locked away by the government. Our rally got 3000 at the event.
  • The Victorian Government tried to stop the purchase on Miners Rights and limit prospecting in Victoria. PMAV prevented this.
  • Lobbied and had changed the ‘Miners Right” from 2 to 10 years.
  • Lobbied and had price changed from $84 for 2 years to $29.00 + for 10 years.
  • Branch ‘Clean up’ days in numerous goldfields, removing rubbish.
  • Constantly lobby action and liaison with government and environmental agencies in keeping our access open to public land.
  • Partnership with the Bush User Groups United (BUGU) formed in 2018 to prevent over 500,000 Ha of land being locked away in Victoria as NP.
  • Partnership with the Mines Department discussing prospecting and mining issues such as licencing, environmental aspects etc.
  • They are at this very moment fighting to keep your bush open to prospecting in regards to the Central West Forest Investigation and Aboriginal closure.

PMAV achievements for small scale miners.

  • Ability to lodge cash bonds rather than expensive bank guarantees.
  • Code of Practice for Low Risk Mines.
  • The PMAV after 10 years of lobbying achieved the ‘Dja Dja Wurrung  ILUA agreements’ whereby small miners don’t have to negotiate individually with numerous aboriginal groups.
  • Lower land access fees as part of ILUA Agreement.
  • Reduced fees for Prospecting Licences for small miners
  • Lower work plan fees for PL’s
  • No mineralisation reports or survey required  when applying for PL’s
  • Better access to older EL’s for small miners


Without members, money and volunteers our fight is lost.
Without public awareness, our freedoms and rights are lost.

‘We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.’
The Diggers (or miners) Oath – 1854