Margaret River coal mine vetoed

LD Operations proposed coal project in the Margaret River has been rejected by WA environment minister Bill Marmion.

The miner had put forth an exploration proposal last year which drew the anger of the community, and saw disagreement within the West Australian State Government.

LD Operations initial proposal was rejected by the EPA, which deemed a mine in the region a potential risk to nearby aquifers.

In a release, the EPA stated that "the board considered that there is likely to be significant impacts, or risks, from the proposal on the Leederville and Sues Aquifers, and on significant environmental values, including the social surrounds of the Margaret River region, which these aquifers support.

"Even though some of the significant impacts, or risks, may be presented as being manageable because of their low probability of occurring, the environmental consequences of some low probability event may be so serious, widespread or irreversible that the proposal, taken as a whole, on balance, presents unacceptable risks to important environmental values, and thus makes the proposal environmentally unacceptable."

WA Premier Colin Barnett supported the decision, saying that despite the fact that the mine was never appropriate the Government ensured that due process was followed.

However LD Operations quickly appealed the decision, with managing director Peter Ross stating “we are still quite confused, it’s a report that really doesn’t highlight anything that we believe justifies the decision," he said.

The miner asked Environmental Minister Bill Marmion to reconsider the EPA’s recommendations that the mine would propose significant environmental and noise pollution risks.

After a long investigation, Marmion knocked back its appeal, according to The West.

Marmion dismissed the appeal in late December, but only formally rejected the proposal late yesterday.

"This decision provides the people of Margaret River with certainty that the State Government recognises the uniqueness of the region, both from an environmental and social perspective," he said.


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