A plea for Bimblebox
Waratah Coal's Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) was finally published on 8 April. Public comment has to be submitted by the end of Monday 6 May. Please make your feelings known if you do not approve of the wrecking of the unique ecosystems on Bimblebox Nature Refuge to make way for yet another mega mine.
There's more information about Bimblebox on its website.
I would not expect many people to read the thousands of pages of SEIS, but you might like to dip into the Nature Conservation section. First go here. Then scroll down to VI PART C 03 Nature Conservation. Unfortunately, it won't let me publish the direct link to this section.
There are many issues to consider apart from the obvious threat to the biodiversity of the Galilee Basin and the potential loss to the owners of Bimblebox who in 2003 invested – along with the Queensland State Government – in the conservation of the property.
• How can further exploitation of coal resources possibly be justified in the contexts of Australia's huge carbon emissions problem and the imminent serious impacts of climate change?
• Have exhaustive studies been conducted into the cumulative impact of several mega-sized mines on water resources in the region?
• The viability of continued large-scale mining for export to China and India is increasingly called into question by economists. Their reasons include the current economic slow-down and a movement away from fossil-fuel-based power generation in China. This is the time to pause for reconsideration, not hurtle down the same path, seduced by the allure of mining royalties and hence the possible reduction of Queensland's deficit.
• Biodiversity offsetting is not something to be used to pull the wool over people's eyes. Insufficient research is being done before an EIS or SEIS containing an Offset Strategy is submitted. At this stage it appears to be merely a proposal rather than field-based research to indicate that it is, in fact, perfectly feasible to replicate a unique desert upland ecosystem, complete with requisite fauna and flora, somewhere other than Bimblebox Nature Refuge. How exactly is the proponent's Strategy to be monitored to its realisation and into the future? And by whom?
These issues deserve much greater elaboration, but that will have to be for another occasion. There are, as I write, two and a half days until submissions close. There is a pro-forma submission to help you to help Bimblebox here.
Please seriously consider making a submission. Thank you.