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Fate of Bimblebox Nature Refuge hangs in the balance

Bimblebox (Eucalyptus populnea) woodland with native understorey

Bimblebox Nature Refuge, a precious 8,000 hectare ecological sanctuary part-established with taxpayers’ money, is under threat from a proposed 30 mega-tonne open cut coal mine which would directly destroy over half of the refuge.

Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters has questioned federal department officials in Senate Estimates seeking answers as to how the fate of Bimblebox will be decided.

“It would be the height of hypocrisy for government to use public money to part-purchase this refuge and then approve its destruction by coal mining,” Senator Waters said.

“It would mean our taxes are going directly to line Clive Palmer’s pockets, and this precious home for rare and threatened species would be lost forever.

“Waratah Coal’s plan to offset the destruction of this wilderness by proffering land of similar ecological value is meaningless – Bimblebox is unique and irreplaceable, and we can’t protect the environment by playing numbers.

“Federal environment minister Tony Burke has every power – and every reason – to reject the proposed Waratah coal mine, and protect Bimblebox for all Australians, now and for generations to come.”

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