The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 12
Mining on Private Property
Mining on Private Property.
The Convention adopted the following Report on the subject of Mining on Private Property:—
The first clause of the bill is objectionable—
1st. Because the words "Mining District" will confine the provisions of the Act to the present Gold-fields' Districts, and not extend beyond them.
2nd. And because it proposes to invest a judge of the court of Mines (who is not competent to decide on mining matters) with the power to determine whether, or not, mining shall be permitted on private lands; of deciding what compensation should be paid to the owner of such land. And further, of imposing on the miner whatever conditions he may thing proper.
Clause 2 is objectionable—Inasmuch as it is quite unnecessary.
Clause 4 is objectionable—As it requires the forwarding of documents to the Chief Secretary.
Clause 5 is objectionable—On account of the decision of arbitrators, so appointed, being likely to be slow and unsatisfactory.
Clauses 8 and 9 are objectionable—Because they increase the difficulties of access to private property, by encouraging litigation and vexatious delays.
Clauses 10 and 11 are objectionable—Because the miner is compelled to pay costs whether he gains or loses the suit.
Clause 15 is objectionable—As it does not give power to mine, when the depth would be so great as to prevent any injury to the surface or buildings.
Clause 16 is objectiouable—As it legalises unjust contracts already entered into, in opposition to the regulations of the Local Courts of the districts, thereby conferring on individuals a monopoly of certain auriferous lands.
Clause 17 is objectionable—As it confers on the Governor and Council the power of deciding when auriferous lands are worked out.
Finally: the bill is objectionable in toto—As it does not give, as it purports, increased facilities of access, to private property—and because it is expensive, slow, and litigious.page 26