For 20 years Paola Cassoni and family and supporters have protected and nurtured the native plants and animals of the almost 8000 ha. Bimblebox Nature Refuge, a rare uncleared gem in Central Qld. They signed legal contracts with state and federal governments to protect the property in 'perpetuity'.
They kept their word. The governments didn't.
For Bimblebox sits over the thermal coal of the southern Galilee Basin. Now Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal has applied for two of the final approvals required from the Qld. Government before mining can commence on their Galilee Coal Project.
The thermal coal mines proposed for the as-yet-untapped Galilee Basin would be among the world’s biggest – a world that cannot cope with more warming and climate chaos. The adverse impacts of this mine and its approved 40mtpa of coal are both local and global.
The Bimblebox Alliance Inc. will fight these approvals in the Qld. Land Court, alongside co-objectors, Youth Verdict; the Environmental Defenders Office will provide legal services. We have had our first day in Court, with the Directions Hearing on 19th June.
Now the Bimblebox Alliance is asking for your help, because we know you value Nature and care about our unique wildlife and its diminishing habitats – and about our world, in an escalating climate crisis.
Your donation can make all the difference in this David and Goliath fight.
As Paola Cassoni, our President, had been in lockdown in northern Italy for months, caught up while visiting her elderly parents in early February, Bimblebox Alliance members like myself, Sharyn Munro, have had to act here to save Bimblebox. As we did at the IUCN conference in 2014: (L to R) our amazing researcher, Patricia Julien, Paola, and myself.
I've been involved with Bimblebox since I discovered its plight in 2010 and wrote about it in my book, 'Rich Land, Wasteland'. I have seen too many places destroyed for coal; I will do my utmost to stop the rich natural treasures of Bimblebox from becoming another such wasteland.
Waratah Coal has federal approval to mine more than 97% of Bimblebox, digging up almost half for two open cuts and undermining the rest.
Its remnant woodland, heath, shrubs and grasses are a living ark, home to many mammals, reptiles and amphibians… and so far more than 173 bird species have been observed there!
The QLD Environment Department advised that clearing even half of the Refuge for the mine will kill about 35,880 birds, 13,570 mammals and 780,000 reptiles.
Ecocide? And for another coal mine in the Galilee Basin?
To fuel even greater global warming?
How your donation can help immediately
Three years of drought have demanded too much survival work of the too few people on the ground. The annual artists' camp has been unable to happen. Paola being away means one less pair of hands.
Work is needed on the facilities for those who come to volunteer, carry out research, see what is at stake, be informed, show the Refuge's living treasures to decision makers, or video, photograph, paint or write about them, to help spread the word.
As Bimblebox is about 500kms west of Rockhampton and 1000kms from Brisbane, people who visit usually stay on Bimblebox.
The shelter for visitors needs to be upgraded to a camp centre that will cope better all-year-round with the expected increased interest. Remaining a bush camp, with visitors bringing their own sleeping tents, it needs a new large canvas marquee tent, a permanent long drop toilet, better shower facilities, and a solar power setup to run a fridge, often needed for medical supplies.
The Bimblebox Alliance Inc. needs $20,000 to pay for materials and labour. Your donations, no matter how small, and your help in getting the word out to your friends and networks, are hugely appreciated.
We met our base target within a week (!), thanks to such wonderful support. It is heartwarming that so many people care about this issue. We will keep the fundraiser going to give all who wish to donate the chance to do so… and to allow us to take that camp beyond basic!
Together we will enable more people to come and see why we must save Bimblebox from being lost – let alone for a coal mine.
Let's all 'tell 'em they're dreamin'!
For more information visit our website.