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Waratah Coal wants to swap land for Bimblebox Nature Refuge

A rare Black Orchid on the under-threat Bimblebox Nature Refuge.
A rare Black Orchid on the under-threat Bimblebox Nature Refuge.

THE Bimblebox Nature Refuge and Desert Uplands landholders' futures hang in the air as the Waratah Coal mine supplementary Environmental Impact Statement is examined this month.

The company has said the refuge land is an integral part of the mining project. The mine has proposed off-setting the loss of the refuge by creating a new refuge.

Waratah's proposed alternative for a refuge is upstream from Coongie Lakes and is said to have vegetation similar to that of Bimblebox.

The property is subject to exploration permits granted to Waratah Coal that would be extinguished as part of the offset.

 

Bimblebox Nature Refuge manager Paola Cassoni said they would "continue to maintain the resolve that nature refuges are not for mining but for preserving intact the biodiversity left in Queensland".

 

Lock The Gate Central Queensland spokeswoman Ellie Smith said landholders were "under no obligation to negotiate with Waratah Coal for access to their properties for surveying or any other activities".

"(Waratah Coal owner Clive) Palmer will also have to prove that his mine justifies destroying one of the last pieces of intact biodiversity in the region, Bimblebox Nature Refuge," she said.


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