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Bimblebox Objects To New Coal Mine

Bimblebox_Woods_Bmx2_Judy_Leitch.jpg

Bimblebox Woods.  Judy Leitch.  Image Supplied 

Nature refuge group, The Bimblebox Alliance Inc. has filed an objection to the Land Court of Queensland against Clive Palmer’s Galilee Coal Project, slated for the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, which they say will destroy the Bimblebox Nature Refuge.

Paola Cassoni, co-owner of Bimblebox Nature Refuge and president of The Bimblebox Alliance said, “We’re angry that Clive Palmer wants to build his mine and destroy this precious nature reserve we have spent 20 years working hard to create.”

“The Queensland Government will approve this coal mine if we don’t contest it. We have no choice. We have filed this objection to turf Waratah Coal out.”

“In 2001 we signed legal contracts with both the Commonwealth and Queensland governments for protection 'in perpetuity' of the property, because of its acknowledged high biodiversity values. I was shocked to learn the government can just break this contract in favour of a coal mine.”

“The protection of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge is an important issue for all Queenslanders.”

“If Waratah Coal succeed, the Bimblebox Nature Refuge will be the first nature refuge in Queensland to be mined against the wishes of its owners. There is no need for this coal mine. The recent intense bushfires and ongoing drought should be a wake-up call that we cannot afford to dig and burn more coal.”

Waratah Coal applied for its mining lease in 2011. The Galilee Coal Project is a 40 million tonne per annum thermal coal mine proposed near the township of Alpha, Queensland. The Galilee Coal Project is the fourth mega coal project to seek approval to mine resources in Queensland’s contested Galilee Basin.

“Bimblebox has conserved almost 8000 ha of uncleared woodland, rich with bird and animal life, and is also an operating cattle station producing prime beef. Bimblebox is unique in conserving wildlife as well as scientific and fire management research, and sustainable grazing.”

“If the government approves Clive Palmer’s mine we will lose productive grazing land, hundreds of thousands of native animals, and a biodiversity safety net which helps the region bounce back from drought and fire.

“The Queensland Government will look to use a biodiversity offset for this loss as an approval condition of the mine. The reality is that there’s no comparable alternative available in the region that ensures no net loss of biodiversity. The destruction of Bimblebox’s thriving ecosystems will be permanent and cannot be replaced.”

“Our work to develop Bimblebox as a conservation-based grazing property has turned to protecting it against Clive Palmer’s mine. We will fight to save this invaluable island of remnant woodland. We cannot stand by and allow the trashing of nature for coal.”

A spokesperson for Mr Palmer said "Comments and objections on this project were open between 2011 to 2013 when the EIS was being assessed. No doubt they did this at that time and the regulator took their comments into account".  

By Michelle Brewer