The Galilee Coal Project, also referred to as the China First Coal Project, is a 40 mega-tonne per annum thermal coal mine.
The Galilee Coal Project, also referred to as the China First Coal Project, is a 40 mega-tonne per annum thermal coal mine.

Green group files court objection against Galilee mine

A CONSERVATION group has filed an objection to Clive Palmer's Galilee Basin mine.

The objection, which claims the project would destroy a 8000 hectare nature refuge, was filed in the Land Court of Queensland this morning.

Bimblebox Alliance Inc. says it wants to protect Bimblebox Nature Refuge, a large area of uncleared land in central west Queensland, about 30km north west of Alpha.

EXPLAINED: Future of nine major new mines

Bimblebox Alliance president Paola Cassoni said she was "angry" Mr Palmer wanted to develop on the reserve the group had spent 20 years working to create.

Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal was contacted but declined to comment.

Businessman Clive Palmer arrives to the District Court in Brisbane in July as liquidators are trying to claw back $200 million in claims owed by Mr Palmer over the collapse of Queensland Nickel. PICTURE: AAP Dave Hunt.
Businessman Clive Palmer arrives to the District Court in Brisbane in July as liquidators are trying to claw back $200 million in claims owed by Mr Palmer over the collapse of Queensland Nickel. PICTURE: AAP Dave Hunt.

The Waratah Coal Galilee Coal Project would comprise two open-cut and four underground longwall mining operations.

The Galilee Coal Project, also referred to as the China First Coal Project, is a 40 mega-tonne per annum thermal coal mine and 453km rail network to the port of Abbot Point, from where the coal would be exported.

The Environmental Defenders Office, acting for the Bimblebox Alliance Inc, has filed the objection alleging it would cause "irreversible environmental damage and unacceptable impacts to local agriculture".

"We have filed this objection to turf Waratah Coal out," Ms Cassoni said,

"The Queensland Government will approve this coal mine if we don't contest it. We have no choice."

Ms Cassoni said legal contracts were signed with the Federal and Queensland governments in 2001 which allegedly promised the land would be protected. 

NEW MINE: Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal company is working towards building their ambitious Galilee Coal Project.
NEW MINE: Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal company is working towards building their ambitious Galilee Coal Project.

"I was shocked to learn the government can just break this contract in favour of a coal mine,' she said.

The nature refuge is home to more than 150 species of birds with a flock of endangered and highly controversial Black Throated Finch sighted on Bimblebox in 2011.

An alliance statement said Bimblebox land was purchased for protection in 2000 using the savings of private citizens and funding from the Australian National Reserve System program to "save it from being cleared".

"If Waratah Coal succeed, the Bimblebox Nature Refuge will be the first nature refuge in Queensland to be mined against the wishes of its owners," Ms Cassoni said.

CEO of the Environmental Defenders Office David Morris said the proposed mines Environmental Authority application and Mining Lease application should be refused on a number of grounds.

 


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