|WA Greens applaud mine rejection|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 09:41|
West Australian Greens MLA Giz Watson has applauded a move by the state's Mining Warden's Court to reject three bauxite exploration licenses in the tourist-haven southwest region.
Bauxite Resources, which has already been granted exploration licenses over 59 tenements in the state's southwest, said on Tuesday its application for three additional licences between the towns of Bridgetown and Manjimup had been rejected by a mining warden.
The warden had recommended to WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore the applications be refused.
However, if the minister wanted to grant the licences, he should refer them to the Environmental Protection Authority with the warden's report.
Mr Moore's department will consider comments and submissions from affected parties before making his decision.
On Wednesday, Ms Watson said the Greens were "celebrating a significant win".
"This is a historic ruling that finally recognises the environmental damage caused by bauxite mining," she said.
"Importantly, the ruling recognises the public interest in state forest and productive farm land."
Ms Watson was now urging Mr Moore to accept the court's recommendations.
Bauxite Resources has previously faced strong community opposition in the face of growing calls for WA's southwest - renowned for its wineries and tourism - to be protected from mining.
The WA government in February knocked back plans by Vasse Coal Management to dig an underground coal mine 15km northeast of the Margaret River township amid vigorous opposition from locals.
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