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Bimblebox Nature Refuge
under threat from Waratah Coal


Bimblebox Nature Refuge will be destroyed by Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal - China First Project. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt approved the mine on 19 December 2103 with 49 weak conditions.  His solution to the destruction of this 8000 hectares Nature Refuge of intact vegetation is to create a 16,000 hectare “Offset” which is to be “protected” by - guess what – another Nature Refuge.”

One has to wonder - Has Greg Hunt become the Assistant Minister for Mining rather than the Environment Minister?

An "offset" is a meaningless solution when it still means a net destruction of 8000 ha of natural woodland.  Fifty-two percent or 4,000 hectares of Bimblebox will be cleared to make way for this massive open cut mine. The remainder of the Nature Refuge will be at risk of subsidence due to underground mining.

The 8,000 ha Bimblebox property was recognised 10 years ago by both the Federal and State governments as an excellent example of uncleared woodland in the Desert Uplands Bio-region. The Federal Government contributed  $314,600 towards the purchase of the property on the condition that it was preserved in perpetuity. The State government declared the Bimblebox Nature Refuge to protect its importance as an intact natural ecosystem.

Bimblebox NR has become a well recognised site for research, for example into sustainable grazing practices, fire management, and woodland bird surveys, an important indicator of ecological health.

We need answers from both levels of government about their commitment protecting Nature Reserves and their roles in ensuring ecological resilience.

Why hasn't Waratah been required to repay the $300,000+ of tax-payers money which was contributed to the purchase of Bimblebox in 2000.  This is not mentioned in the 49 conditions of approval.  It should be recovered and re-applied to nature conservation elsewhere?

What is the State government doing to protect their declaration of the Nature Refuge?”

Waratah’s solution to the destruction a Nature Refuge is quite bizarre.  They are proposing a so called environmental offset to compensate for clearing half of Bimblebox. The deception is that the declaration of a Nature Refuge over an offset area, gives it no more protection from mining than is available to the existing Bimblebox NR, zilch! 

Is the State Government going to close the ridiculous ‘offsets’ loophole which gives no absolutely no protection to nature and which is being exploited by mining companies?

See "FIBS" told by Clive Palmer in radio interview.

See also  Bimblebox Nature Refuge    and CCC Coal page 

Some pictures of Bimblebox Nature Refuge
Poplar box (Bimble box) woodland

Silver-leaved Ironbark woodland

Bimblebox - mixed eucalypt woodland

Bimblebox woodland and shrubs