Updated: October 26, 2011
Bimblebox Nature Refuge protest comes to Queensland Parliament House
The Wilderness Society (Qld.) Inc.
27 October 2011
The Wilderness Society and Friends of the Earth have slammed the Bligh Government for allowing Clive Palmer to pursue plans for a giant coal mine over the Bimblebox Nature Refuge near Alpha in central Queensland. The groups joined with one of Bimblebox’s property owners, Paola Cassoni, in a colourful protest at Queensland Parliament House this morning, demanding that Premier Bligh immediately protect Bimblebox and other nature refuges from mining.
Paola Cassoni said: “When we entered into a nature refuge agreement with the Queensland Government, we thought the wildlife and woodlands on our property would be protected forever. Instead the government has let Clive Palmer apply for a huge coal mine right over the refuge, which will decimate everything.”
The 8000 hectare Bimblebox property was purchased in 2000 with help from the Australian Government’s National Reserve System program, in recognition of its remnant woodlands and high diversity of birds, reptiles and other animals. Ms Cassoni and Bimblebox co-owners signed a nature refuge agreement with the Queensland Government in 2003 with the aim of giving permanent protection to the property.
Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal released the EIS for their massive new coal mine earlier this month. The mine involves an open-cut mine over 52% of the refuge, with the remainder of the property subject to damaging underground long-wall mining.
“If Bimblebox is mined, it will prove Queensland’s nature refuge program to be an absolute farce,” said Glenn Walker, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society. “There is no refuge for nature in an open-cut coal mine.”
“The case of Bimblebox demonstrates the need to urgently protect nature refuges from destructive mining. The Bligh Government can not claim to be increasing Queensland’s protected area estate through nature refuge agreements when it is clear to all that it’s still open-slather for the mining industry,” said Mr Walker.
“Does Premier Bligh support Clive Palmer’s coal destruction, or does she support the protection of nature?” said Bradley Smith, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth Brisbane.
“If Premier Bligh is serious about nature protection, she will move to urgently amend Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act to ban mining on nature refuges. Clive Palmer’s dirty coal mine over Bimblebox should not have even got to the EIS stage – there should be no mining exploration permits or leases granted over any nature refuge,” said Mr Smith.
Paola Cassoni, Bimblebox Nature Refuge: 0459 956 240
Glenn Walker, The Wilderness Society: 0417 645 927
Bradley Smith, Friends of the Earth Brisbane: 0413 280 006
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Qld Inc - Brisbane
67 Boundary Street (upstairs)
West End, QLD, 4101
Phone: 07 3846 1420