The Lightning Ridge Area Opal Reserve (LRAOR) is a Crown Land Manager organisation, with a combined area of more than 20,282 hectares (see maps below), it is one of the largest, most diverse and complex Crown Reserves in NSW. The Reserve covers land around the Lightning Ridge township, the Coocoran and Grawin areas. The majority of the Reserve was acquired in a one-off voluntary surrender scheme (VSS) undertaken by the NSW Government to resolve access issues between mining and agricultural interests.

The Reserve is managed by a Crown Land Manager board which is made up of seven members including a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. The board consists of three community representatives and four ex-officio positions.

All board members are appointed for a five-year term by the Minister for Water, Property, and Housing. There is also a full-time manager employed by the board to undertake the daily running of the reserve, advise the board, and implement board decisions.

The purpose of the board is to manage the land contained within the Reserve, it is responsible for assets and infrastructure; financial management; cultural management, weed and pest management; bushfire management; access; maintenance; Illegal rubbish dumping; and erosion control.

The board has been ordered by the Minister to undertake a plan of management for the Reserve. This document is designed as a blueprint and reference document for how the Reserve is managed and run. The plan of management document will have community consultation as part of its design and the final document must be signed off by the Minister, where it currently is situated.

The Board

David Lane
Community Representative
Independent Chairperson

Ormie Molyneux
Director at Lightning Ridge Miners Association

Damien Waterford
Community Representative from Lightning Ridge Tourism Association


Wendy Spencer
Project Manager at Dharriwaa Elders Group


Brenda McBride
Director at Lightning Ridge Local Aboriginal Land Council


Rebel Black
Community Representative
Deputy Chairperson

Barbara Moritz
Secretary at Lightning Ridge Historical Society

David Sullivan
Reserve Manager, Lightning Ridge Area Opal Reserve
(On paternity leave)

Victoria Lugovoy
Acting Reserve Manager, Lightning Ridge Area Opal Reserve


Lightning Ridge Opal Reserve shown by yellow shading