Govt to repay gold fossickers who saved Queensland
GOLD fossicking in Gympie saved Queensland from bankruptcy many years ago - and the state government has now gone some small way towards repaying the favour.
Just in time for Gympie's big birthday celebration, the Gold Rush Festival, Mines Minister Andrew Cripps and National Parks Minister Steve Dickson yesterday announced moves to make gold fossicking easier.
Fossicking licenses will now be available online and, in the Gympie Region, that will include access to the public gold panning area of Deep Creek.
"The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has worked hard to simplify licensing for fossickers searching for alluvial gold, gems and ornamental stones," Mr Cripps said.
"From today, Queenslanders can simply enter their details online in a few minutes to complete their application and they will be emailed their fossicking licence.
"Until now, fossickers had to submit a paper form to authorised licensing agents or district offices of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
"The 1867 discovery of alluvial gold in Gympie was the start of Queensland's first major gold rush - saving Queensland and founding Gympie.
"My department has issued more than 8000 recreational fossicking licences since 1 January 2012, compared to 5,108 during 2011 and 3,194 during 2006."
Mr Cripps said there were various fossicking licences, which could be issued for a one, six, or 12-month period, with fees ranging from $7.05 to $44.75 for an individual, or $10.10 to $59.60 for a family," he said.
The best known fossicking ground is the Deep Creek area which can be accessed from Counter and Victoria sts.