A seasoned environmentalist has embarked on a one-man mission to ban mining in the South West.
Albany resident Tony Harrison has travelled the region calling for a blanket ban prohibiting oil and gas exploration and coal mining from Bunbury to Ravensthorpe.
Mr Harrison said if the State Government could stop coal mining in the Capes region due to public outcry they could do the same elsewhere.
The ban would not include mining for limestone, granite, gravel or sand, Mr Harrison said.
“If the government can impose fishing bans around our coast to protect fish stocks for the future then they should accept a mining ban in the area to preserve our wilderness, wildlife, farming and eco tourism industry, ” he said.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore told the Albany Advertiser in July the government had banned coal exploration in a 230sqkm zone north of Margaret River. The temporary policy bans new mining leases.
Busselton City Council Mayor Ian Stubbs said while the council had formally lodged its opposition to coal mining applications across the Capes region, it was not calling for a blanket ban on all mining across the South West. “However, the City will consider opposing individual mining applications lodged within its boundary where a possible threat to the environment and/or the wellbeing of residents has been identified, ” Mr Stubbs said.
Busselton Dunsborough Environment Centre convenor Alison Cassanet said she was supportive of Mr Harrison’s case and raised concerns about the potential for oil and gas exploration in Kaloorup.
In its September 2011 quarterly activities report, Titan Energy said its application for a special prospecting authority at Kaloorup was still on hold and the company was trying to ascertain the status of its environmental management plan for the exploration program.
The Department of Mines and Petroleum has confirmed this week it is still waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Authority and Department of Environment and Conservation on the matter.
Geographe Bay Tourism Association chief executive Simon Taylor said he would “absolutely” support a mining ban in the South West.
Mr Taylor said the region should be protected from mining or any other industry that was not compatible with tourism.