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.

New brew in pipeline

CHEERS: Denman Cellars manager Ben Hayman and owner Jacqueline McLeod enjoy a cold one.

New brew in pipeline.

In love with business

Annie Lloyd-Lewis, All Ceremonies

Anne Lloyd-Lewis has gotten couples hitched for nearly 10 years

Chance to BOOST spirit of goodwill

GET INVOLVED: Boost Manager Nina Carr with Whitsunday Coast lifesaver Callum Docherty.

Purchasing a Boost Juice will do the community good

Local Partners

Possible irukandji sting on man and two infants

A MAN and two infants have been taken to Proserpine Hospital after being stung by jellyfish at Cape Gloucester this afternoon.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Puzzling film with 23 surprises

TERROR: James McAvoy in a scene from the movie Split.

Puzzling film with 23 surprises.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Long-awaited Rufus arrives

SEND OFF: Rufus wraps up their Full Bloom tour in Airlie Beach on Sunday.

THE long wait is almost over.

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!