Re­spect when you prospect

Midwest Times - - OPINION - Rae­lene Hall

Since Euro­peans set foot on Aus­tralian soil they have been ob­sessed with find­ing min­er­als. For many that dream is still alive to­day.

Aside from min­ing com­pa­nies, there are peo­ple who like to spend their hol­i­days or re­tire­ment out in the bush with a detector in hand, look­ing for any riches they can find.

There are many places out­side of the cities where prospec­tors like to wan­der, search­ing for the patch of ground that might yield riches from the soil.

Old min­ing towns, some of them aban­doned, are of­ten favoured ter­ri­tory of the prospec­tor. Pas­toral leases are another pop­u­lar place to ex­plore for min­er­als, es­pe­cially if there are records of min­ing on the prop­erty from many years ago.

Gen­er­ally we don’t have a prob­lem with prospec­tors try­ing their luck on our place. Most peo­ple un­der­stand the usual rules of camp­ing away from wind­mills, not bog­ging up tracks if it is wet, tak­ing away rub­bish and, most im­por­tantly, con­tact­ing the prop­erty owner/manager to let them know they are want­ing to ac­cess their prop­erty.

How­ever, lately I have noted a cer­tain ar­ro­gance creep­ing into phone calls I re­ceive.

In­stead of a call that be­gins “my name is Joe Blog and I’d like to visit your prop­erty to do some prospect­ing in a week’s time. Would this be all right? If so is there any­thing we can bring you?”, some re­cent calls have been along the lines of, “Hi, my name is Joe Blog and I’m com­ing on to your prop­erty next week to prospect and just wanted to let you know”. This sort of at­ti­tude gets up my nose and gives prospec­tors a bad rep­u­ta­tion.

Ask­ing isn’t just about cour­tesy, it is about safety and our work pro­gram.

We could have shoot­ers on the prop­erty, we may be mus­ter­ing, the tracks may be too wet or it just isn’t con­ve­nient for any num­ber of rea­sons. We aren’t try­ing to be awk­ward.

If it’s pos­si­ble we’ll say so — we’ll even help you with sug­ges­tions where to go and show you the sta­tion map. Re­mem­ber this place is our busi­ness but also our home. Please re­spect this.

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