Symes fails to engage

Three months after a request to meet with The Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria (PMAV), Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes has failed to make contact.

Shadow Assistant Minister for Public Land and The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath made the request to Minister Symes during May.

Ms Bath said she raised the request during State Parliament after PMAV representatives approached her regarding their concerns regarding the restrictions on public land use and the locking out of miners from public spaces that were once open and accessible.

“Minister Symes stated she was willing to meet with the PMAV and I personally provided their contact details during the same day,” said Ms Bath.

The PMAV together with experienced gold mining licence holders Mr Neville Perry and Mr Mick Clark wanted to share their experiences and frustrations in dealing with the earth and mineral resources branch of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

Ms Bath said the PMAV has members from Gippsland and across Victoria and Minister Symes is only paying members of our hard working community lip service.

“For over three months Minister Symes has been in full receipt of the PMAV’s contact details, yet she has failed to act,” she said.

“The PMAV are incredibly frustrated with the development of cultural heritage management plans, which should take around three months, but are taking up to 18 months.

“They are seeking answers from Minister Symes and would like to have positive dialogue, explain the problems and discuss solutions.

“The PMAV sought to meet with the Resources Minister in good faith, yet her words and actions do not match.

“Minister Symes must keep her word, instead of treating prospectors and miners and their active and thriving community with such disdain.”