Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal company has been condemned after it submitted an Environment Authority and Mining Lease application for the destructive Galilee Coal Project - previously called “China First”.
The mine has been on ice since being approved by the Federal Government in 2013 leaving local landholders in limbo.
If it goes ahead, the Galilee Coal Project would destroy grazing land and the Bimblebox Nature Refuge.
Local Landowner and Nature Refuge co-owner Paola Cassoni said she would be considering all her options now that the ML and EA had been notified.
“The first of 26 boreholes was sunk on the Nature Reserve in 2008, but we locked our gates and stopped the extra 100 boreholes. We have submitted to the Environmental Impact Statement and voiced our concerns throughout the EIS process.
“But by making an objection to the land court Waratah’s assertions about the impacts of the mine can finally be put to the test.
“We have been in drought out here for more than three years. Our groundwater is all we have to depend on. We have no choice but to use all options open to us to protect this important pocket of country.”
“We have until December 2 to gather information for our objection. Any Nature Refuge owner out there, and there are more than 500 of us, that feels outraged like we do that this government would allow mining on a Nature Refuge, please join me in the fight.
“And any graziers that are worried about their water, please join us too.
A recent Supreme Court decision has thrown into doubt the consideration of groundwater during the grant of an Environmental Authority and in any subsequent Land Court processes.
Graziers are now calling on the government to amend legislation to confirm that the impacts of mining on groundwater will be properly considered at all stages of the assessment and approvals process, including for the Galilee Coal Project.
Lock the Gate Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said, “It seems ludicrous that impacts on groundwater can suddenly be taken out of consideration mid-way through the assessment process for the Galilee Coal project.
The Queensland Government must quickly pass legislation to fix this loophole that puts millions of litres of water at risk.”
Bimblebox nature refuge is an important habitat in the Eastern Desert uplands and lies right in the middle of the mining proposal.