It seems incredible, but an American/Australian syndicate is assessing the feasibility of an underground coal mine 15 km from the town of Margaret River. It leaves Premier Colin Barnett in a difficult situation, as he candidly admitted his government was pro-mining and pro-development, but recognised there was a conflict of interest between a mine and the character of Margaret River. Needless to say, the worthy vignerons of the region, never slow to protect their turf, are up in arms about the suggestion. So would I be if I had any interest in tourism in the region, and in particular, wine tourism. It is an appalling prospect.