Proposed Changes to the Fossicking Act

Proposed Changes to the Fossicking Act

Have your say!

Posted on 17.11.2023

Have your say! Closes 8th December 2023

Recreational prospecting aka fossicking in Queensland is under threat from proposed changes to the Fossicking Act.

By the proposed changes (detailed below) in its Resources Industry Development Plan, the Queensland Government is proposing to further restrict access to places in Queensland where fossicking could occur:

(Page 6 of the Department of Resources, Improved Regulatory Efficiency consultation paper)

Coordinated fossicking permissions

Under the Fossicking Act, people may fossick on land subject to a mining claim or mining lease with the permission of the tenure holder. However, fossickers do not need to receive permission on land where a mining lease application has been lodged.

Proposed changes to the Fossicking Act would require fossickers to seek permission from the relevant mining lease applicant before fossicking on the land.

This amendment seeks to recognise that mining lease applicants have a significant interest in the land included in their application and have invested significant time and capital to reach the application lodgement stage. Further, the commercial quantity and quality figures relevant to the application may be impacted by fossicking activities, requiring greater coordination and collaboration between fossickers and applicants.

Have your say!

Closes 8th December 2023

We encourage you to provide your views and comments on these proposed legislative amendments. Your feedback will be considered when the Department of Resources drafts the proposed reform.

Please note, it is not mandatory to provide feedback on every amendment. If you would like to provide further feedback following completion of this form, please email

Outdoors Queensland has made the following online submission to the Proposed Changes to the Fossicking Act consultation being managed by the Department of Resources.

Fossicking is a legitimate outdoor activity which generates significant economic and social value for Queensland through visitation to regional Queensland.

Although the question is phrased as a proposed amendment to “coordinate” fossicking permissions, the proposal would effectively restrict the places fossicking can occur in Queensland, since it may be difficult or impossible for fossickers to obtain approval from a mining lease applicant before fossicking on the land. This would either force fossicking underground (so to speak) or prevent fossicking from occurring in areas where large parcels of land may be subject to mining applications from multiple applicants.

The stated vision of Resources is “We will be an influential economic department that advocates in the public interest.” This proposed change appears to support business (mining companies), at the expense of the public interest (fossickers and the communities that benefit from fossicking and fossicking-related tourism).

Outdoors Queensland does not see potential public benefit to communities in preventing fossicking on land where a mining application has been lodged.

Outdoors Queensland is the peak body for outdoor activities in Queensland. We represent outdoor organisations and individuals in Queensland, consisting of a range or outdoor industry stakeholders, covering the five broad pillars of outdoor activities – outdoor recreation, outdoor education, outdoor health and outdoor tourism. We believe that all people should have opportunities to connect with Queensland’s outdoors. This proposed change could preclude people from engaging in a legitimate outdoor activity on land because an application has been lodged, even if that application is never approved.

For more information about fossicking in Queensland, go to: Fossicking





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