Opponents to Western Coal exploration get court date and DEC support

Opponents of Western Coal’s exploration licence application have received a boost with the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) announcing that it will try to stop coal exploration on two private properties between Margaret River and Busselton.

Owners of properties between Busselton and Margaret River claim to have nature conservation covenants on their land and have requested DEC’s support in rejecting Western Coal’s application.

Close to sixty landowners, DEC and the Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been invited by the WA Mining Warden to appear in the Busselton Court on September 29.

Western Coal’s bid to explore on about 4,500 ha has attracted widespread community opposition. A DEC spokesperson is quoted in The West Australian as saying: "These areas have conservation values associated with vegetation and fauna, including the western ringtail possum and the southern brown bandicoot."

Although it is an exploration licence and not an application to mine, residents seem determined to oppose any mining activity in this area. Many fear damage to underground aquefiers and an adverse impact to water in the Margaret River region.

NSW headquartered Hetherington Exploration & Mining Title Services, which offers mining and exploration tenure management, is acting on behalf of Western Coal.

[Image courtesy The No Coal!tion Margaret River.]

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