The Environmental Defenders Office is heading to the Land Court on behalf of farmers seeking a fair hearing in their battle to protect their prime agricultural land from devastating coal mining.

Farmers and local landholders are taking their objections to Clive Palmer’s massive proposed Galilee Basin coal mine to the Land Court of Queensland.

The Bimblebox Alliance Inc, represented by Environmental Defenders Office, say the mega-mine would cause irreversible environmental damage and unacceptable impacts to local agriculture.

The proposed mine would produce 40 million tonnes per annum of thermal coal over a life of 25-30 years, generating around 2.9 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

On behalf of Bimblebox Alliance, EDO will argue the Environmental Authority application should be refused on 11 grounds and the Mining Lease application should be refused on 12 grounds.

Endangered Species at Risk

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The Bimblebox Alliance conservation group is named after the Bimblebox Nature Refuge – a 8,000-hectare semi-arid woodland 30km north west of Alpha.  

Roughly 50% of the refuge will undergo large-scale clearing for two open-cut coal pits if Clive Palmer’s mine goes ahead. Most of the remainder would be underlain by four underground mines and would be at risk of subsidence.

Bimblebox is an exceptional example of how sustainable agriculture and conservation can co-exist. The private conservation reserve is one of the largest tracts of intact woodland in Queensland and home to hundreds of bird and animal species, many of which are rare or endangered.

It provides habitat for the endangered Black-throated Finch, the vulnerable Squatter Pigeon and the Near Threatened Black-chinned Honey Eater and Black-necked Stork.

Local graziers are helping preserve an important un-industrialised part of the Australian landscape, its vital ecosystems and regional culture for future generations.  All that would be swept away if this short-sighted mining proposal ultimately proceeds.

In December 2019, Bimblebox Alliance filed legal challenges over the Environmental Authority and Mining Lease applications for the Galilee Coal Project, formerly known as China First. 

Objections to the project have been lodged under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and Mineral Resources Act 1989.

On behalf of Bimblebox Alliance, EDO will argue the Environmental Authority application should be refused on 11 grounds – including that approval would cause environmental harm and would not be consistent with the core objectives of ecologically sustainable development.

EDO will also argue that the Mining Lease application should be refused on 12 grounds, including that there will be significant adverse environmental, social and economic impacts caused by this project and its operations.