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Lightning Ridge Miners Association — Maxine retires after 27 years of service

Michael Matson, Darren McCarthy, Garth Middleton, Fred Mallouk and Ormond Molyneux. Photo TWH

Rata Jackson

Secretary-Manager of the Lightning Ridge Miners Association, Maxine O’Brien, has announced her retirement after 27 years.

During that time, Maxine has worked with five presidents and numerous directors.

The board of the Lightning Ridge Miners Association (LRMA), and its members, have thanked Maxine for her passion and unsurpassed dedication towards the opal industry, particularly the Black Opal industry in Lightning Ridge.

The LRMA was incorporated in 1974 to represent the opal mining community at Lightning Ridge and district.

In that time the association has ‘stood in the gap’ for its opal mining members in dealings with government and non-government bodies and in affairs affecting the economic and social welfare of opal miners and their families.

Miner, Kavitha Barron said that Maxine’s tireless effort in lobbying government departments has seen the industry through some tough times.

“Some of Maxine’s noteworthy achievements include the construction of the puddling tanks and the Collective Bond Scheme,” Kavitha said.

The LRMA owns five puddling tanks, four close to town and one at the Coocoran. Members can wash their dirt at these sites, which is a huge convenience.

The Collective Bond Scheme is a subsidised bond scheme for members, freeing up funds for prospecting or mining that would otherwise be tied up in security deposits for current and past titles with the Mines Department.

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