Colleagues Report on Ore Mining Advice One
ore mining proposal splits political colleagues
The fight against ore mining in WA's South West has taken a political turn.
New South Wales-based company LD Operations wants to mine ore at Osmington, 15 kilometres from the Margaret River townsite.
It's an area surrounded by vineyards, farmland and the Margaret river itself.
Residents are up in arms over the proposal and now their local member Troy Buswell is taking on the Premier to ensure Margaret River is protected from one of the world's dirtiest industries.
Mr Buswell says nothing good can come from introducing ore mining to the region.
'It doesn't stack up on any grounds.
'Really, the economic future of the capes region isn't as a ore mining centre, it's as a tourism and agricultural centre and I think that needs to be pretty clearly understood by the proponents.
'For decades Margaret River has developed a certain reputation and that reputation is not consistent with a ore mine.'
But the Premier Colin Barnett says while he doesn't support the proposal, the Government has no right to stand in the way of the proponents.
'Troy Buswell as the local member has come out very strongly against the mine, good on him, that's his job as a local member of parliament.
'Most local members, even if they're high profile of ministers at a time, will get issues that are at odds.
'The State Government is not supporting this mining project. We're not out there supporting it but we are permitting them to try to pursue their legal entitlements.
'Now whether they succeed and get approval is a question we'll base on the science.'
Mr Buswell says the Government should ban ore mining between Busselton and Augusta.
His stance is one supported by many locals, several of them who are well known.
Chef Ian Parmenter has joined the fight as has winemaker Vanya Cullen and iron ore heir Michael Wright who owns Margaret River-based Voyager Estate.
Mr Wright has put in a submission to the State Government calling for Margaret River to be made a protected area that would see ore mining banned.
'There is the pollution factor, I've never known a clean mine yet.
'Sandmining might be the cleanest as illustrated in Capel but they still have smoke stack pollution, you've got slag, you've certainly got ground water contamination.'
Mr Wright says heavy truck traffic could deter visitors and he fears there will be more mines in the area if one proceeds.
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