NSW & ACT - NAPFA information + how to join

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NAPFA Official Representative
Feb 1, 2014
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In the interests of helping to inform Prospecting Australia forum members about the NSW&ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association, the following Questions and Answers have been prepared.

What is NAPFA?

NAPFA is the NSW&ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association Inc. It is a registered NSW Association and was set up in December 2012 by a group of prospectors who recognised the need to have an umbrella group dedicated to lobby the government for the benefit of prospectors.

NAPFA has a constitution based on the NSW Fair Trading model for such associations. It maintains office bearers and committee members who are elected to those positions by members of the association who attend the Annual General Meeting. No committee members or office bearer is paid for their NAPFA work. It is voluntary.

NAPFA is similar to other prospector lobby groups in Victoria, Western Australian and the Northern Territory. If you need a vision for what NAPFA could be like, then look to the PMAV which has also been very supportive of our formation and progress. But they have a 30 year head start on NAPFA and it will take us quite a while to catch up. APLA in Western Australia started in 1903!

NAPFA seeks to work cooperatively with and compliment the efforts of lapidary and fossicking clubs, forums such as PA and prospecting retailers in NSW. Theres lots of details on our website NAPFA

Why was NAPFA set up?

NAPFA was set up to lobby to improve access and rules for fossickers in NSW, and to a lessor extent the ACT. (The reason ACT was included that many ACT fossickers are active in NSW and having them in the name was a good way to recognise that.)

Our fossicking community in NSW had not had an effective single liaison point for NSW Government. As a consequence fossickers had been an invisible user group in the mind of the NSW Government and left out of consultation processes. Unfavourable changes have been made, especially on access matters, without any coordinated challenge by fossickers. NAPFA wants to reverse that situation and to be a viable consultation partner for any future changes that are considered.

What has NAPFA done since it started?

We've done quite a lot!
FOSSICKING DISTRICTS- NAPFA’s initiative to create more Fossicking Districts and ongoing lobbying of Local Governments has now added 40% more Fossicking Districts to NSW in 2 years, and we haven't finished yet.

FOSSICKING in NSW PARKS - For the first time in history fossicking is no longer simply banned, and is now included in their state policy. This allows future application in parks not specifically restricting fossicking, and for us to submit applications.

Why should members of Prospecting Australia forum consider joining NAPFA?

Joining NAPFA is a matter for individual forum members to decide. What NAPFA will do is work on behalf of its members to improve the lot of fossickers and prospectors in NSW. The benefit of that work will flow to all NSW fossickers whether they are members of NAPFA or not.

NAPFA seeks to continually build its membership base so that it will be taken more seriously by government. Simply put, the more members we have, the more chance government will take notice of what we have to say. Individuals cannot normally achieve the same outcomes as a group.

Joining NAPFA is a way for PA members to contribute to the goals of NAPFA and to do something tangible to try to make NSW a better place for fossickers.

NAPFA takes some inspiration from the Eureka Stockade when miners said enough is enough and pledged to work together to get a better outcome. In this day and age, luckily we dont need to build a stockade! But we do need to lobby! (Just think of all the lobby groups around: motoring associations such as the NRMA; National Farmers Federation; Australian Medical Association; Engineers Australia; Beyond Blue; Bankers Association; Australian Council of Social Services; Greenpeace; Sporting Shooters Association of Australia; Recreational Fishing Alliance and the list could go on and on.)

Is NAPFA political?

To be an effective lobby group that can bring about change in policies, NAPFA must work with a range of people, including politicians and public servants. This is the way our democracy works.

NAPFA itself is NOT a political party. In the run-up to the next NSW state election we will seek the views of all political parties and communicate those to members.

To date we have received encouragement, support and cooperation from key members of the Shooters and Fishers Party in NSW (Robert Brown MLC in particular) who not surprisingly see our cause in much the same way as that of shooters, fishers, four-wheel-drivers and other outdoors people. NAPFA is grateful for that support but will not be preaching overt political messages to members on behalf of any political party!

We will be communicating the facts and it is up to individual members to make their own choices when it comes to voting.

How much does it cost?

  • Membership of NAPFA is $25/year.
How do you join?

Why does NAPFA need to charge money?

Running a lobby group effectively and for the long-haul requires a range of administrative expenses such as communication, web, marketing material, printing, mail, travel and professional insurance. It is unreasonable for these to be paid by honorary committee members when the benefits will be shared by many.

We are a non-profit group and ultimately all money raised through membership fees and raffles is for the benefit of members and the fossicking community at large. It is a worthy cause, but like all causes it costs money to run. We are a low cost organisation and deliver excellent value for money.

The NAPFA committee has responsibilities under the constitution and NSW law in regards to financial and administrative matters. It is accountable to members through the AGM. Our books are maintained in excellent order by our Treasurer who is also a Certified Practicing Accountant.

More information?

Regards to all
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