Objectors rallying against mining applications in the City of Albany’s west say they are pleased a number of councillors are now engaging with their campaign. Locals and landholders in the Torbay, Marbellup and Elleker area have been fighting to prevent the approval of mining exploration applications in their area since February last year. Applications in the area have been withdrawn and replaced with slight amendments to the area they cover in that time. Objectors, led by the Torbay Catchment Group, have repeatedly expressed their concerns mining in the primarily agricultural area is not in the public best interest as it would have a widespread negative impact on the environment. In recent months a number of objectors have taken the opportunity to call on the City council for formal support of their objections by presenting during public question time at ordinary meetings. Torbay Catchment Group project officer Pip Tilbrook said a number of councillors had been in contact with her about the campaign in recent months, which she described as a “a breath of fresh air”. She said presenting to council had allowed objectors to get their message across in a “very different” way to sending emails or making individual phone calls. “What has been particularly heartening is to understand there are quite a few councillors who are interested and supportive of us,” she said. A public meeting in late July in Elleker also saw about 50 members of the community come together, including Cr Stephen Grimmer and Cr Malcolm Traill, to be updated on the progress of a formal application. TCG chair Diane Evers said a number of new people who had not had prior involvement in the campaign attended the meeting. She said the meeting was an opportunity to have landholders sign statements saying they would not allow exploration on their properties because exploration could not go ahead without written permission on private property. “Wendy (Coffey) and I gave updates on the process and the court orders on the objectors,” she said. “We outlined our expected plan and particulars to argue our case.” “The applicant has provided their particulars and the particulars for the Torbay Catchment Group have been drafted by Natalia Shagina with support from Pip, Wendy, myself and others.” Ms Evers said the group’s particulars would likely be submitted this week ahead of an August 25 deadline. The Advertiser understands Cr Grimmer is preparing to table a motion calling for council to consider supporting the campaign against mining in the area at next week’s ordinary meeting. Ms Evers said engagement from a number of councillors made the group feel like it was “listened to, respected, and responded to in a way that assists us to make the voices and expectations of Albany residents heard more clearly at the State level”. “It is vital for councillors to be aware of community expectations with regard to maintaining and improving our environment,” she said.