Fight against coal mine to fea­ture in es­say

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

Green­peace Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive and au­thor David Rit­ter will im­mor­talise Mar­garet River’s fight against the Os­ming­ton coal mine in words.

A planned long-form es­say for the Grif­fiths Re­view could form the ba­sis for a book on the com­mu­nity’s No Coali­tion fight against the pro­posed mine, which started in 2010, serv­ing as a se­quel to Rit­ter’s her­alded The Coal Truth.

He said the idea had its gen­e­sis when he ap­peared at last year’s Mar­garet River Read­ers and Writ­ers Fes­ti­val.

“I was aware of the cam­paign in Mar­garet River to keep coal out for em­i­nently sen­si­ble rea­sons,” he said. “I thought it was re­ally sig­nif­i­cant. The peo­ple of Mar­garet River had shown Mar­garet River was more im­por­tant than coal min­ing.”

Speak­ing with anti-coal cam­paign­ers Ian Par­menter and Peter Lane dur­ing the fes­ti­val shed more light on the com­mu­nity cam­paign, which was led by con­venor Brent Wat­son and fea­tured a who’s who of res­i­dents as well as gar­ner­ing in­ter­na­tional sup­port from celebri­ties such as Michael Palin.

Rit­ter said the story showed the im­por­tance of grass­roots me­dia un­earthing threats to com­mu­nity well­be­ing and the role of in­di­vid­u­als tak­ing the fight to the high­est lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

No Coali­tion con­venor and farmer Brent Wat­son said any cov­er­age of the cam­paign should high­light how so­cial li­cence and res­i­dents’ con­cerns risked get­ting crushed by WA’s “all-pow­er­ful Min­ing Act”.

He said Rit­ter’s anal­y­sis had to recog­nise the broad role of many com­mu­nity mem­bers.

The af­ter-ef­fects of the bat­tle — in­clud­ing the re­cent col­lapse of a fresh foray into min­eral ex­trac­tion in the re­gion, unan­i­mously op­posed by the Shire of Au­gus­taMar­garet River coun­cil — was the real fo­cus, he said.

The ar­ti­cle is likely to be pub­lished later this year.

Pic­ture: Mo­gens Jo­hans­son

Green­peace Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive David Rit­ter will cap­ture the Mar­garet River coal mine story for an up­com­ing na­tional fea­ture es­say.

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