Margaret River coal mining applications terminated

Margaret River coal mining applications terminated

ABCUpdated July 24, 2012, 2:34 pm

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The State Government has moved to prevent future coal mining in the Margaret River area by terminating all pending applications for coal exploration.

Under the Mining Act, the Minister for Mines and Petroleum has the power to dismiss coal exploration licences that are pending.

After months of community protests, the Minister Norman Moore has used the provisions in the act to terminate all current applications within a 230-square kilometre radius of Margaret River.

Earlier this year, the Government rejected a proposal by Vasse Coal to develop a mine in the area after the Environmental Protection Authority advised that coal mining in the area posed an unacceptable environmental risk.

Mr Moore says his decision is based on unique and local circumstances existing only in the Capes region.

As of last month, there were 25 applications pending for coal exploration licences.

Mr Moore has previously resisted calls by the Greens to consider amendments to the Mining Act.

He said the current legislation gave an adequate level of scrutiny of mining tenement applications.

The State Government had been considering other ways to protect the Margaret River region, including a review of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge state planning policy and the South West framework.

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