Margaret River won't be mined: Barnett

31 May, 2011 12:59 PM
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THE West Australian Premier has declared Margaret River a mining no-go zone, indicating he won't allow a coalmine in the iconic wine region even if it gets bureaucratic approval.

Colin Barnett's stance is an example of the increasing friction between mining and agricultural interests around Australia, including in NSW's Hunter Valley and Queensland's Surat and Bowen basins, reports The Australian Financial Review .

The resource industry fears the wider south-west region may also be placed off limits to mining.

The Premier told a Perth business luncheon of his fierce opposition to the mine. He said although the mine's proponent, LD Operations, was appealing the rejection of its plan by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), he would be "prepared to act" to block the project.

"I don't know how that [appeal] will pan out but at the end of the day it is up to elected governments to make decisions and it would take a powerful argument to convince me that we should place at risk the standing of Margaret River," he said.

The Australian Financial ReviewSource: http://www.afr.com
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READER COMMENTS

Desmond
1/06/2011 6:46:06 AM, on Farm Weekly

Water has a cost. Margaret River does not have any spare water for Mining. The science supports the EPA rejection and that is what the Premier is aware of. The water bodies at risk are the critical water assets fo the Region. We are past peak water and water is the new oil. Miners have had the free run at water - but those days - hopefully - are over. Food and Water security is more important than ever, and it is also not fair that Mining can encroach the assets of other land users and make them illiquid. No-one wants to buy the land next door - so mining freezes your assets and in effect you subsidise their venture with your water and your asset values. These are simple truths - and as mining encroaches more and more - there will be more and more resentment unless there is better planning.

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