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.

Zafir wants answers

IN DOUBT: UFC welterweights Anton Zafir (right) and Li Jingliang.

UFC opponent tests positive for drugs

Book Week celebrated

Whitsunday Christian College got in the spirit for Book Week.

Students at schools around the region celebrated book week

Child Protection Week events

UNITY: PCYC Whitsunday's Cassie Holeczy with WCCS's Poppy Annear and Mandy Coles.

CHILD Protection Week is set to be recognised throughout the region

Latest deals and offers

Role model dad earns grand title

The 2016 Queensland Father of the Year for the Central and Northern Queensland region is Bowen man Gary Prior.

Prems and ladies to take on semi-finals

GAME ON: James McEvoy-Bowe plays the ball at the weekend.

Whitsunday FC Premier Men's and Ladies sides go through to semis.

Zafir wants answers

IN DOUBT: UFC welterweights Anton Zafir (right) and Li Jingliang.

UFC opponent tests positive for drugs

Whitsundays junior Sea Eagles book final berth

GRAND FINAL: The under-14s and under-17s have booked grand final berths.

Under-14s and Under-17s book grand final berth.

Flowers fighting cancer

CLOSE TO HOME: Coles Express Cannonvale manager Rachel Jensen has her own reasons for getting behind Daffodil Day.

The region turned out to support Daffodil Day.

Book Week celebrated

Whitsunday Christian College got in the spirit for Book Week.

Students at schools around the region celebrated book week

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale