These are Bimblebox trees, on the Bimblebox Nature Refuge in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, several hours west of Emerald.
It’s such a special place, of such high conservation value, that the Federal Government chipped in about half the cost of the property, under the National Reserve System, called ‘Caring for our Country’.
This property had 97% remnant bushland still intact, a rarity in Queensland’s Desert Uplands bio-region, a declared Australian Biodiversity Hotspot. Paola Cassoni and friends have been caring for it, but the government clearly no longer does.
The government counts the Reserve System towards meeting their international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Tick it off — then cross it off for mining? For they gave Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal an exploration licence over Bimblebox, and now the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) confirms that his proposed China First mine would destroy Bimblebox Nature Refuge.
The opencut mine would take 52% of Bimblebox and the rest will be subject to major subsidence and interference from underground longwall mining.
People like Paola — and me — sign conservation contracts in perpetuity, to give up their bushland for the good of all, for the sake of regional and national bio-diversity. We remove weeds, nurture indigenous plants, harm not even a leaf that belongs there.
But the wishes of a mining company, for private profit, can negate this, render those cherished natural treasures as suitable for bulldozing. Only National Parks are safe from mining — so far.
Offsets are a sick joke and the myriad variety of living things on Bimblebox face destruction. If this mine goes ahead it will set a precedent for the invasion of all conservation areas.
Please have your say about this travesty and submit a comment on Waratah Coal’s Environmental Impact Statement. The more objections we raise, the louder we rattle the can, the more we will be heard.
The period for public comment closes on November 7th.
Paola and the Friends of Bimblebox have prepared a submission for people to send in, and have information for people who want to write their own.