Gold prospectors at a Central Queensland fossicking area.
Gold prospectors at a Central Queensland fossicking area.

Fossicking ban hits CQ gold prospectors

FOSSICKING on public land has joined the list of activities that are temporarily banned to support social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has announced a shutdown of Central Queensland fossicking areas, in addition to the ban on camping.

“The Queensland Government has closed all campgrounds in national parks, state forests and state-managed recreation and protected areas in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” Dr Lynham said.

“The expert medical advice the government is receiving is that camping is a significant concern in the current environment and should not continue.

“Fossicking similarly draws people together, usually away from home, at a time when all efforts are being made to encourage social distancing.”

Fossicking spots affected include the historic gold rush area of Clermont, the western Queensland opal fields and Central Queensland gemfields.

Dr Lynham said fossicking could still occur on private land with permission from the landholder and in keeping with social distancing measures.

“It’s critical that these activities cease, particularly with the Easter school break approaching,” he said.