The DERM (Department of Environment and Resource Management in Queensland) website makes it crystal clear...”A nature refuge agreement is perpetual, attached to the land, and binds successive owners of the land. A perpetual agreement is the best means for you to ensure that your good land management practices and restoration work will be continued when future generations or when ownership changes”.
Tell that to the owners of Bimblebox. Their 8000ha nature refuge is under threat from Waratah Coal, which plans an open-cut mine that would destroy more than half of the refuge, and long-wall mining under the other half. And the Bimblebox owners can’t just say ‘no thanks’!
The Environmental Impact Statement (prepared by Waratah) is open for public comment until 19 December. Find out more about Bimblebox Nature Refuge and make a submission.
Bimblebox is the first nature refuge to be so threatened by mining – and what happens there will influence what happens on other nature refuges around the state. If you want to see Bimblebox and other nature refuges protected from mining for future generations, PLEASE find time to make a submission by the due date.
How COULD they do it?
Nature Refuges are areas of land nominated by landholders and after assessment by a Departmental Nature Refuge Officer, accepted by the Department. In making the assessment, consideration is given to:
· areas containing, or providing habitat for, plant and animal species that are rare or threatened;
· habitats or vegetation types that are threatened, such as endangered and of concern regional ecosystems;
· habitats and ecosystems that are poorly represented in existing reserves;
· remnant vegetation;
· movement corridors for native animals, especially those linking areas of remnant vegetation or existing reserves;
· significant wetlands, including mound spring communities; and/or
· cultural heritage.
The assessment also considers the significance of the potential nature refuge at a property, landscape and strategic level. Nature refuges are those that:
· at a property level, contain significant conservation values that are of a sufficient size, condition and placement in the landscape to remain viable in the long-term;
· at a landscape level, increase the representation of the state's biodiversity and establish or maintain landscape linkages and corridors; and/or
· at a strategic level, possess exceptional values or circumstances that directly or indirectly contribute to improved conservation in Queensland.
Given the selection criteria, it is incredible that Bimblebox (or any) Nature Refuge can be handed over for coal mining. Please find the time before 19 December to make a submission asking for the protection of Bimblebox from mining.