Native Animals Blockade Coal Office

Native Animals Blockade Coal Office
4th of Nov, 2010

This morning over 25 concerned citizens have recreated a nature refuge at the entrance of Clive Palmer's office at 380 Queen St, Brisbane, recreating a nature refuge to let him know just what his China First coal project is costing Queensland.

The office building was shut down by police and security in anticipation of the protest. There was no response from Waratah Coal, which is owned by Clive Palmer.

The protest was held to support the owners of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, near Alpha that is set to be destroyed if Clive Palmer's “China First” coal project goes ahead.

Spokesperson for the group, Eleanor Smith from Friend of the Earth said “It's crazy in this time of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change that we would put our natural heritage at risk for dirty coal mines”

“We're here to tell Clive Palmer and all the other coal bosses that mining Nature Refuges is unacceptable and the people of Queensland won't allow it”.

Paola Cassoni, part owner of the 8000 hectare Bimblebox Nature Refuge couldn't make it to the protest but sent her blessing saying “Areas that have been set aside for conservation, often funded by the government, have no protection from mining companies who want to dig them up for the coal that lies beneath the soil”.

In Queensland the interests of mining companies over-ride virtually all other land uses. While the Government has moved to protect some agricultural land from mining, many protected areas, rivers, streams, subterranean water tables, rural and regional communities are often hidden casualties in the rush to exploit Queensland's coal reserves.

The China First coal project is one of three coal mines planned for Western Central Queensland and is currently undergoing and Environmental Impact Assessment. The construction of a 500km long and 500m wide rail corridor, proposed to transport the coal to Abbott Point on the Capricorn Coast, will cut right across Queensland dissecting may more farms and remnant forests.

Over 60 Nature Refuges are currently under threat from some kind of resources exploration or mining permit in Queensland. The Queensland government can legislate to give Nature Refuges the same protection as National Parks to ensure these areas truly are protected in perpetuity.