A request for a lil’ help from Bimblebox Nature Refuge

Hello friends … long-lost or new!

This is a story very close to my heart, which I would like to share with you, so please take a minute to read.

Australia could be on the verge of allowing a dedicatednaturerefugeto be swallowed up by a coal mine, setting a grave precedent for conservation estates around the country. We all know there’s a coal rush, but this – by any sane reasoning – is going too far.

We now have just a few weeks to make submissions on the Environmental Impact Statement, and bombard the state and federal environment ministers with emails. Fortunately, the landholders of therefugehave drawn up a pro forma submission that you can add your name to and submit, or to base your submission on:http://bimblebox.org/?page_id=410

The 8000ha BimbleboxNatureRefuge, which protects a rare pocket of desert uplands in Central Qld (and is home to threatened and endangered species) has been under exploration for a few years (despite the landholders’ opposition). A couple of weeks ago Clive Palmer-owned Waratah Coal released plans for its ‘China First’ mine, which would slice the “refuge” into 52% open-cut coal mine, with the remainder dedicated to underground long-wall mining, resulting in subsidence.
More details here:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-20/am-clive-palmer-mine/3580458
And here: vimeo.com/31068937

I’m part of a motley crew in Brisbane who gathered recently to hear one of the of the owners of Bimblebox speak. In 2000, she and a group of concerned families teamed up to buy the land, entering aNatureRefugeAgreement with the Qld Govt in 2003. Right now, she is now running herself ragged meeting with scientists and bureaucrats in Brisbane and Canberra.

Never before has a coal mine released plans for a mine on anaturerefuge. But according to insiders, the deal is sealed unless the public makes its concerns known. And plenty morenaturerefuges are subject to coal exploration.

If you can bombard the ministers, please do – Federal is Tony Burke, Qld is Vicki Darling. This needs to become an election issue (Qld election is next year).

If you can offer a hand to the motley crew, let me know.

If you are part of a community group (a church, a musical group etc) and some of your friends from that group would be willing to sign a letter too, please ask them to do so. You could print the short version from the Bimblebox website then just add “we are members of XXXX” at the top. I am hoping this will have more effect than just letters signed by seemingly random groups of people.

December 19 is the closing date for the public to make formal comments on Waratah Coal’s proposal / the Environmental Impact Statement. Until then, our focus is to send as many submissions (aka letters!) as possible to the correct government department (the address, and clear easy instructions on how to make your letter count as a formal submission are at the same link as the example submissions:http://bimblebox.org/?page_id=410).

Please share this story. The battle at the moment is between a group of landholders dedicated to conserving a bioregion and a cashed-up coal company.

If you made it this far, thank you!


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