MOORABOOL mayor Pat Griffin has denied there is a conflict of interest between his business and Mantle Mining, following news of the mining company’s bid to explore for brown coal in the region. Councillor Griffin’s clarification follows allegations made on a social networking site about links between the mayor’s company Rheology Solutions and the Western Australia-based firm.On its website, Rheology Solutions declares it has an “extensive range” of products “specifically for the mining industries”.However, Cr Griffin said his company had no business relationship with Mantle Mining. “My company sells scientific, laboratory equipment,” Cr Griffin said. “We sell to a number of industries, including the mining industry for their laboratories. “(But) we have never had an involvement with Mantle Mining, Maddingley Brown Coal or Collega.”Cr Griffin said he had made a “management decision” to never deal with any coal mine.“I don’t believe in coal mining and I don’t want it in our area, so I won’t deal with it,” he said.Cr Griffin said the allegations were bordering on defamation and he was consulting his lawyers on what steps he could take to protect himself.“Conflict of interest would be if something came up in the council about Mantle Mining,” he said.“But there is nothing before the council about the firm anyway.“(And) if I had a conflict of interest I would declare it.”Cr Griffin said although he was personally against coal mines, the Moorabool council was yet to decide its position on the matter. “We are seeking a report from our offices to know exactly all the ramifications and anything that has happened in regards to Mantle Mining,” he said.
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