The Dubbo Region will receive increased tourism and economic benefits from a decision to gazette the local government area as a fossicking district. Infrastructure, Community and Recreation Committee chair Stephen Lawrence said the declaration was a victory for the region and for fossickers, both locally and those who would be drawn to visit. “This is a golden opportunity for our region to add another tourism experience that will attract a new market that could be lucrative. We want everyone to know that we are a fossicker-friendly community,” Councillor Lawrence said. “It has come at no cost to Council but has the potential to attract even more people to see what Dubbo has to offer. We know the region has some interesting minerals including gold, so who knows what people will find. “This is great because it isn’t just Dubbo and Wellington that can benefit. Smaller communities such as Stuart Town could also be home to some exciting finds.” The NSW and ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association (NAPFA) made representations to Council to consider opening up the region to fossicking. It was considered by the committee in August and placed on public exhibition with no submissions received, before being approved by the committee on Monday night. Councillor Lawrence said fossickers would still need to seek the permission of landowners but are not required to get approval from the holder of a mineral or petroleum exploration licence.