Community against Margaret River coalmine

Anger is building in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, as the public argue against a planned coalmine.

Anger is building in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, as the public argue against a planned coalmine.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency said it has received over 700 submissions in just two weeks against the LD Operations underground coalmine site which would be less than 15km from the Margaret River town centre. 
 
Those opposed to the mine, including locals, vineyard owners, tourism operators and farmers, say there should be a higher level of environmental assessment for the proposed mine.
 
A spokesperson from the EPA said according to new rules, the watchdog could seek public comments to assist their decision about the level of scrutiny that should apply to new projects, adding that there has been strong opposition heard in this case.
 
"A number of other proposals have been up there for comment," he said.
 
"This is the only one that has received any. This is the one that has attracted the most public interest."
 
Ian Parmenter, spokesman for the No COALition, said people were “passionate” about their opposition to the mine, and that even international wine producers are concerned. 
 
"I know that wine producers from California were putting submissions in – the whole idea that a wine region could be subject to coal mining has just hit a chord," he said.
 
LDO  managing  director Peter Ross said the opposition was not unexpected, and they knew the project would attract interest.
 
“We always knew there would be a lot of interest in the project and that is why we went out so early to talk about it and we want to hear from everyone, whether it’s a positive or negative," he said. 
 
"We respect everyone’s opinion."
 
Ross said a social impact assessment would be carried out as part of the project early next year.
 
The EPA said it would aim to set the level of assessment within 28 days.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.