The State Government has rejected a proposal to build an underground coal mine north-east of Margaret River.
Last year, the Environmental Protection Authority recommended against the proposal for the mine at Osmington by Vasse Coal.
The Environment Minister Bill Marmion backed the decision, arguing it posed serious risks and the EPA found the proposal could have catastrophic implications for the Margaret River area.
The EPA said the plans were ‘environmentally unacceptable’ and the mine would likely have posed serious risks to the area’s groundwater.
Mr Marmion was required to consult with other Ministers and he says they have agreed with his and the EPA’s view.
WA’s Conservation Council has welcomed the final decision.
But, its director Piers Verstegen says he remains concerned about a range of other coal mining and gas fracking proposals for the area.
“We’re now calling on the State Government to take the next step and establish permanent legislation to protect the entire Capes region,” he said.
Locals have previously called for protective legislation.
Mr Marmion says, however, each project is assessed on its merits.
“This actually shows we’ve got a robust approvals process in place at the moment, so the decision making process is working,” he said.
“Indeed, in this particular instance, it shows important environmental, aesthetic, and tourist values of Margaret River have been protected.”
Another company Western Coal has applied for an exploration licence in an area north of the town.
That bid is also being opposed by the local community as well as the Department of Environment and Conservation.
First posted February 07, 2012 15:48:44
First Published ABC News