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.