Bid for six ex­plo­ration li­cences with­drawn

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

Prospec­tive min­ers be­hind a fresh bid for ex­plo­ration in the shire have with­drawn their ap­pli­ca­tions.

Ear­lier this month, the Times re­vealed the Shire of Au­gus­taMar­garet River coun­cil’s op­po­si­tion to the bids, cov­er­ing six ex­plo­ration li­cences across the re­gion, in­clud­ing the Black­wood River and the Witch­cliffe Eco-Vil­lage.

But amid fierce com­mu­nity back­lash, pro­po­nent Peter Gianni de­clared he had with­drawn the lease ap­pli­ca­tions on the min­ing ten­e­ments, which have ex­isted in the re­gion for sev­eral decades.

For­mer anti-coal ac­tivist Cath Miller broke the news af­ter con- tact­ing Mr Gianni di­rectly to ex­press the re­gion’s op­po­si­tion to min­ing plans for coal, gold and min­eral sands.

Ms Miller was a prom­i­nent cam­paigner in the No Coali­tion move­ment, re­buff­ing min­ing plans for the Os­ming­ton and Met­ricup ar­eas.

In an email, Mr Gianni con­firmed he was with­draw­ing the ap­pli­ca­tions from WA’s War­den’s Court. “I was un­aware of the huge im­pact this may have on your­self and oth­ers in this area and I wish to do the right thing and will with­draw my ap­pli­ca­tion E 70/5183 to­day,” he said.

Ms Miller said she be­lieved all ap­pli­ca­tions were now with­drawn, sav­ing her­self and dozens of res­i­dents from mak­ing per­sonal dep­u­ta­tions at the War­den’s Court, as oc­curred dur­ing the Os­ming­ton saga ear­lier this decade.

“The South West Capes is a tiny blip on the land­mass of WA, is an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised bio­di­ver­sity hotspot, and has good rains that make a whole range of agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties pos­si­ble,” she said. “Min­ing should be fo­cused in ar­eas where this is not the case.”

Ms Miller said the WA Gov­ern­ment should en­shrine a no-min­ing zone west of the Gladstones line, the ge­o­graph­i­cal in­di­ca­tor for the Mar­garet River wine re­gion.

The Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River did not re­spond to inquiries.

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