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Bimblebox Nature Refuge
Clive Palmer spreads mis-information

Clive Palmer was interviewed on ABC Local Radio Brisbane on 1 May 2012 with morning presenter Steve Austin. On the left is the transcript of the Bimblebox part of his interview.   On the right is our response.



Clive Palmer: “It’s a pastoral station for 45 years left by a grazier to the green movement.”

UNTRUE. The property “Glen Innes” (now called Bimblebox) was bought on the open market in August 2000. It was not ‘left by any grazier to the green movement’ but was bought by a group of people concerned about the threat of broad-scale tree clearing. The Federal govt. contributed $314,600, or about two thirds of the purchase price. There has been grazing for more than 100 years.

“Where it’s been devoid of all vegetation by cattle where they have been on for 40 years.”

UNTRUE. At the time of purchase 96% (7632ha) of Bimblebox (7912ha) had never been cleared and was a significant intact area of poplar box and silver leaved ironbark woodland with an outstanding diversity of grasses. Conservative grazing has continued under the stewardship of the present owners.

“When Anna Bligh was in power the greens applied to have it declared as a reserve.”

UNTRUE. Bimblebox Nature Refuge was declared under the Beattie govt. in 2003. Neither Anna Bligh nor “The Greens” had anything to do with it.

“In Qld there are 5 levels of reserve.  It took them three years to be declared as a fifth class of reserve, the lowest possible category, which was done by political pressure.”

UNTRUE. Qld has eleven categories of reserves under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and they are not necessarily in priority order. One of the conditions of Federal funding was that it be given permanent protection as a Nature Refuge with low impact grazing. The length of time taken to negotiate the agreement with the state government was un-surprising. There was no political pressure.

“Under that sort of classification mining can take place, any development can take place because it was regarded by the labor government of the day and the environmental laws of this state as being not too significant, and that’s what upsets the greens.”

The only category of conservation reserve protected from mining in Qld is a National Park. What upsets many people is that the Federal government stipulated that Bimblebox should be given permanent protection, but under current state law, no Nature Refuges are protected from mining.  Other developments can take place on a Nature Refuge subject to the values of the Nature Refuge not being compromised.

“So this is a beat-up, really, if you like, to stop Queensland developing so that other countries can develop their coal.”


Steve Austin:  “Do you agree it has any natural, inherent natural, worth whatsoever?”

Clive Palmer: “No more than any other pastoral stations out there, and that’s what it was. Once you let sheep and cattle in the area they tend to destroy the natural environment that was there.  Before there were sheep and cattle grazing on that property for 40 years.”

UNTRUE. Bimblebox has been recognised for its high environmental values. Its “excellent condition and biodiversity” were sufficient for the Howard liberal government to invest public money into purchasing it to add to the National Reserve System as part of the Natural Heritage Trust. 

Steve Austin: “The pastoralists who left it, as you say, to the green movement left it for a reason. 

Clive Palmer: I think they left it because they thought they would sell it and get some money. I don’t think they thought they’d make it a reserve otherwise before they died.  They never would have done it as a fifth category reserve if it wasn’t for a friendly labor government who needed green’s preferences to win seats such as Mt Gravatt. Certainly you have got to protect the environment.  There are places where the environment is very pristine and very important and Bimblebox isn’t one of them.”

UNTRUE. This is all fanciful nonsense. However Clive Palmer cannot have it both ways. Has he ever considered why the “green movement” and the Federal government would buy a property “devoid of all vegetation” for hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to protect its woodlands with a Nature Refuge?  If these comments are the best that Clive Palmer can come up with, maybe he should stick to his day job of making billions out of property speculation.

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

Silver-leaved Ironbark woodland

Bimblebox - mixed eucalypt woodland

Bimblebox woodland and shrubs

Please note that this is the property that Clive Palmer stated on at least three occasions was "devoid of all vegetation"

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