A botanical survey at a site north of Bundaberg slated for a potential coal mine has revealed numerous plant communities and bird species would be placed under threat if the project goes ahead.
In conjunction with previous survey results, botanists Ann Moran and Maureen Schmitt have identified 769 native plant species from 43 locations within the proposed mine footprint near Avondale. Of those plant communities identified, 13 are classed as endangered and nine are listed as of concern.
At the same time, 52 bird species were identified during the June survey, and a total of 355 birds observed within six sites representing different habitats.
“Our survey data indicates a rich variety of plant communities and it would be a great shame if they disappeared due to a coal mine being built,” said Ms Schmitt.
“Even though this land is mostly farmland, there are still patches of bushland that provide critical habitat for our plant and animal species.
“We need to protect these areas because when they disappear, so to do our native plants and animals."
Sheena Gillman of Protect the Bush Alliance said, “this survey shows a healthy population of bird species that would no doubt be negatively impacted should this coal mine proposal go ahead.
“All birds contribute to a healthy landscape, but unfortunately across Australia we have seen declines in bird numbers as habitat has been destroyed."
“Although the survey area was primarily agricultural, we cannot underestimate the value of roadside verges, pockets of remnant vegetation and vegetated riparian edges to protect our ever diminishing wildlife.”
Lock the Gate Alliance Wide Bay spokesperson Vicki Perrin said the survey highlighted the need for the Queensland Palaszczuk Government to change the Regional Planning Interests Act so coal mining and gas projects no longer put farmland at risk.
“This highly valuable farmland provides corridors for threatened species and should be protected,” she said.
“These plant communities and birds would be lost if Fox Resources is able to build a coal mine in this area, as would these farms that feed Queenslanders.”