The West

Piers Verstegen
Piers Verstegen

A proposed coal mine near Margaret River would be totally out of place in the popular wine and tourist region, the state's peak environment group says.

Mining company LD Operations has begun community consultation for its Vasse Coal Project about 15km from the town and says the mine would employ up to 200 workers.

But some residents, wineries and tourist operators have objected to the proposed underground mine, fearing it could tarnish what makes the region attractive to locals and visitors.

The Conservation Council of WA says Margaret River is a world class winery, tourism and surfing drawcard not suited to mines or to exploration oil drilling that has been proposed for off the coast.

"Heavy industrial operations like oil drilling and coal mining are totally incompatible with everything that makes the Margaret River region Western Australia's favourite holiday destination," council director Piers Verstegen said.

A coal mine would have a range of serious environmental impacts including air pollution damaging to human health and surrounding wineries, he said in a statement.

The mining could also have major impacts on the region's precious groundwater, Mr Verstegen said.

"Given the vulnerability of Australia's southwest to a drying climate, there is no case to support coal mining in the area, which would only add to the climate change problem."

The West Australian

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