March 10th, 2015
This is the site for Bimblebox Nature Refuge, an 8,000 hectare property in the Desert Uplands Bioregion of Central West Queensland. For more information about the refuge, its ecology, its wildlife and its history, click the relevant tabs above. On this page, we post regular updates on the campaign to prevent Bimblebox Nature Refuge from being destroyed by a proposed massive thermal coal project, as well as updates on “life at the refuge” as we work to maintain the property’s conservation values, year in and year out through summer heat, drought, extreme fire risk, flooding rains, isolation… etc!
To join our mailing list (we send less than one email per month) click here.
NEW: This 5 minute show depicts the history and the possible dire future of Bimblebox Nature Refuge. Our thanks to Tangible Media, Bob Brown, Sonya Duus, Mark Doyle and Karl Hoch. Please click on “HD” in the lower right-hand corner to ensure maximum colour and sound quality.
January 20th, 2015
Paola Cassoni is co-owner of Bimblebox Nature Refuge
Paola Cassoni sent the following letter to members of the Queensland parliament and candidates in the state election, to be held 31st January 2015, asking for their stance on mining in Queensland’s conservation areas. There have been a number of responses to Paola’s letter, including from the Queensland Greens, the Liberal-National Party, Fiona Simpson (Liberal-National Party), Tim Mulherin (Australian Labor Party), Bill Gissane (Australian Labor Party), Jamie Evans (Free Australia Party), Rob Katter (Katter’s Australia Party), and candidates from North Toowoomba electorate.
Dear Members of Parliament and candidates,
I am co-owner of Bimblebox Nature Refuge located in the state’s central west and the President of the recently formed group, The Bimblebox Alliance Inc. (http://bimblebox.org/tba-inc/). I am writing to ask for your stance on the mining of Nature Refuges.
Our 8,000 hectare Nature Refuge is currently threatened by Clive Palmer’s China First Project (also known as Galilee Coal Project) in the Galilee Basin. This would destroy Bimblebox and the refuge it offers to endangered species like the Black-throated Finch.
The mining of Nature Refuges and other areas of high conservation value was a prominent issue prior to the 2012 election, and both major parties promised positive outcomes for the environment. Then Premier, Anna Bligh, committed that Bimblebox would not be mined, while Campbell Newman stated, “coal mining will not be allowed in areas of high conservation value”. However, Mr Newman’s assurance proved hollow, when in 2013 his government approved the China First project.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 9th, 2014
- Kathleen Noonan
- From: The Courier-Mail
- November 08, 2014
SOMETIMES as a journalist you report on an event or protest and you walk away thinking, well, they’ve got Buckley’s chance.
In the Bible, the David and Goliath yarn has an upbeat ending but, in real life, things usually tilt in favour of the big boys.
You get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes – the spin, the corporate tactics that kneecap any local community or group that tries to stand in the way of a massive corporation. You know in your gut it’s wrong.
You wander away knowing the little bloke is outgunned and outmanoeuvred at every turn – legally, financially, friends in high places, resources, the lot.
At night when you are falling asleep, instead of sheep to count, after a life in journalism you have a flock of this sad “little-bloke-got-screwed’’ yarns to restlessly tally.
Yet, every once in a while, the little bloke puts up one hell of a fight.
That’s the story of Bimblebox nature refuge, an 8000ha patch of bush beauty and diversity, and the people who love it.
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December 20th, 2013
On Friday 20th December Greg Hunt, the Federal Minister for the Environment, announced his conditional approval for Clive Palmer’s proposed Galilee Coal Project (aka China First). Despite the decision being dated 19th December, it was not announced on the department’s website until 6pm the following day, the Friday before Christmas. There was also not the usual accompanying Ministerial press release. Was the Federal Government worried the news getting critical attention from journalists?
In making this decision the Federal Government has joined with the Queensland State Government in giving the green light for the destruction of Bimblebox Nature Refuge. This is despite the Bimblebox landholders having entered binding conservation agreements with both levels of government more than ten years ago. If this mine goes ahead, it would represent the most significant impact experienced on a nature refuge to date.
Minister Hunt’s decision comes as little surprise. Countless letters and submissions have been written in an effort to engage with the formal processes of assessment and decision making. But this result shows decisively that Australian governments would rather court coal interests than respect agreements signed with committed landholders to protect Australia’s precious biodiversity into the future.
Incredulously, this approval comes at the same time that Waratah Coal is facing an Environmental Protection Order for failing to rehabilitate their exploration bore holes. It suggests the company has a blatant disregard for the law that protects landholders and the environment, and we shudder to think what their standards will be like should the mine go ahead. Also, the fact that the government will need the Palmer United Party’s senate votes to pass future legislation, including the repeal of the carbon tax next year, raises serious questions as to the integrity of this decision.
To make matters worse, the Abbot Government together with Labor passed a law in mid-December that will make it difficult for this decision to be challenged in the Federal Court. A further blow came on Wednesday, 18th December, when Federal funding for the Environmental Defender’s Office was suddenly withdrawn. The playing field is that much more uneven now, with well-resourced companies (and self- proclaimed billionaires in the case of Clive Palmer) able to throw their ample funds into legal cases against landholders who have next to nothing. Is this how we want Australia to be?
But the fight to stop the Galilee Coal Project is far from over. Nature Refuge owners, local landholders, city based professionals and students, climate change campaigners and our small dedicated team of volunteers will not sit idle while coal mining is privileged over people and the environment.
What you can do now:
- Help us show our outrage at this decision by sharing these images on social media (you can even use them for your profile picture!)
- Consider a New Year’s resolution of supporting the campaign to stop destructive mining in the Galilee Basin. There are hundreds of ways you can contribute, but only you know your own skills and capacity. Please get in touch.
- Investors the world over are recognising the financial prudence and need to withdraw support from fossil fuel investments. We urge all of our supporters to join with groups such as Market Forces and 350.org to ensure your savings are not helping support this and other mines!
December 17th, 2013
Just some of the remnant woodland, flora and fauna of Bimblebox Nature Refuge
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt is due to make a decision on the massive coal mine that would destroy Bimblebox Nature Refuge by 20th December. The proposed mine is called ‘Galilee Coal Project’ (otherwise known as ‘China First’) and is owned by Clive Palmer, who is a businessman and Member of Federal Parliament.
We urge all Bimblebox supporters to call Greg Hunt’s office or drop him an email this week, to let him know that there is a big number of Australians out there who don’t want to see this mine go ahead.
Phone: (02) 6277 2276 or (03) 5979 3188
Tell Minister Hunt: “Save Bimblebox from coal mining!”
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November 11th, 2013
Kathleen Noonan wrote a great article in the Courier Mail summing up the concerns about Bimblebox and Waratah Coal’s China First mine (see below). She’s right. The paperwork is sitting with the Federal Environment Minister right now and he is due to make a decision by 20th December (2013) – just in time for Christmas. Please help us pressure Greg Hunt to reject the China First mine!
What can you do?
Contact Greg Hunt
Phone: (02) 6277 2276 or (03) 5979 3188
August 11th, 2013
On Friday 9th August, Queensland’s Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney released this press release announcing that the Coordinator General has approved the proposed mine that will destroy Bimblebox Nature Refuge (known as the Galilee Coal Project or the China First Project). This is certainly not the end of the line… Read the rest of this entry »
May 15th, 2013
Billionaire and wannabe Prime Minister Clive Palmer appeared on Australian national television as part of a Q&A panel on Monday May 13.
An audience member directed a question to Palmer concerning the fate of Bimblebox Nature Refuge (which he wants to dig up for coal), and about the future of the Australian environment if we ignore the need to properly protect conservation areas. Clive Palmer dodged the question and tried to divert attention from the issue by assuring the audience his coal carriages would be covered to stop dust flying out. He also said a whole lot of untrue things. Read the rest of this entry »
May 7th, 2013
Submissions on the China First Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement closed at 5pm on the 6th May.
But we can keep the pressure up on our elected representatives to make sure they know that the Australian public does not want to sacrifice protected areas for more coal mines!
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
December 24th, 2012
Here at Bimblebox we are getting on with the busy day to day tasks involved with caring for the nature refuge. It is a world away from the air-conditioned offices in Brisbane where we suppose Waratah Coal is preparing its Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Read the rest of this entry »