Business

Clive's mine development could destroy bird's habitat

Black-throated finch
Black-throated finch Contributed

A BIRD no taller than 12cm, weighing just 15 grams and appearing to wear wrap-around sunglasses may be forced to stand up against magnate Clive Palmer's enormous coal mine planned for Central Queensland.

If Palmer's Waratah Coal develops its multi-billion-dollar China First project, it will consume swathes of the 8000ha Bimblebox Nature Reserve, home of the black-throated finch.

It was an outcome that would devastate Bimblebox co-owner Paola Cassoni.

"We are looking at pristine ecology and we are not putting a price on it," she said.

"There is no price, it is priceless. There is no other."

When Waratah released its latest environmental reports earlier this month, it suggested mining the nature reserve as "critical" to the success of the project.

"For the Galilee Coal Project, the (coal) reserves beneath the Bimblebox Nature Reserve are critical and the most cost-effective of all (coal) reserves," the report stated.

But in another part of the same document, it warns the site "contains the last substantial population" of the endangered black-throated finch.

In 2009, a "significant impact report" was done on the petite songbird, warning that earthworks, excavation, road building, land clearing and increases in human activity would put its existence at risk.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney previously told APN that while no decision had been made about the future of the China First project, Bimblebox was not guaranteed protection just because it was declared a nature refuge.

It was a view that pained Ms Cassoni but did not weaken her resolve.

"When the mines come to an area, there is this permeating feeling with us land owners that there is nothing you can do," she said.

"They have the power and you just have to comply with whatever they're saying.

"Landowners lose their spirit and we see our property taken away.

"We're dismayed at what's happening - it's just not right."

Ms Cassoni joined other farmers to help establish the reserve, once called Glen Innis Station, to protect it from the land-clearing that was rampant in the area during the 1980s and 1990s.

The Federal Government supplied $300,000 of the $450,000 price tag as part of its National Reserve System in 2003, with agreements signed at both state and federal levels to protect it.

Ms Cassoni's land sits about 110km east of Bimblebox, where 500 head of cattle roam a property about the same size as the nature reserve.

Waratah Coal and Mr Palmer declined to discuss its plans further, preferring to wait until after submissions close on its supplementary environmental impact statement on Monday, May 6.

Comments on the project can be made at dsdip.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  bimblebox, bird, business, clive palmer, coal, environment, mining industry, waratah coal, wildlife


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Construction workers to be rewarded

REWARDED: Members of the construction industry will be rewarded at the 2016 Construction Skills Queensland Excellence Awards. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

It's time to reward our hard workers in the construction industry

Circus workshop rolls into town

TRICKS: Karyn Smith and Marguerite Peach of Sensory Circus Tribe. Photo: Darryn Smith/Sunshine Coast Daily

Circus workshop rolls into town

WFC Premier men's team take out Mackay City Brothers

A WFC Reserve Grade player locked in combat with the Mackay City Brothers at the Whitsunday Sportspark on Saturday.Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times

Victory for WFC Premier men's team cements top spot on ladder.

Latest deals and offers

Aviation fire fighter union says passenger safety is at risk

Proserpine Airport would be due to receive a dedicated Aviation Rescue Firefighting Service, but this will be delayed by up to 15 years proposal goes ahead.

RESULTS: Show Whitsunday 2016

Kendell Davies with her horse Chino during the ribbon presentation at this year's Show Whitsunday.

The results of the 2016 Show Whitsunday are in.

Construction workers to be rewarded

REWARDED: Members of the construction industry will be rewarded at the 2016 Construction Skills Queensland Excellence Awards. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

It's time to reward our hard workers in the construction industry

Circus workshop rolls into town

TRICKS: Karyn Smith and Marguerite Peach of Sensory Circus Tribe. Photo: Darryn Smith/Sunshine Coast Daily

Circus workshop rolls into town

Buyers... be aware

MEET THE TEAM: Christine Kinnear, Sarah Smith, Stuart Bell, Bernie Gunders, Hayden Grimston, Melissa Wick and Mel Cox.

Buyers beware of hidden details when buying a home

Store manager: 'Thieves put food down their trousers'

SICK OF SHOPLIFTING: North Mackay IGA manager Brian Gibson keeps a close eye on the CCTV footage in his office and has introduced a wall of shame for shoplifters.

Region's thefts increase 66% since mining boom peaked

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

Woodchop competition

Woodchop competitors at Show Whitsunday on Saturday afternoon.

Miniature pigs race to finish

Eight Australian miniature pigs raced to the finish line at Show Whitsunday on...

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%