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Nature reserve's 'significance' to be determined: Seeney

Bimblebox Nature Reserve
Bimblebox Nature Reserve Picasa

THE quality of an 8000-hectare nature reserve will determine whether it is bulldozed for a $6.5 billion coal mining project planned for Central Queensland.

The Bimblebox site adjoins the Galilee Basin site of the China First mega-mine planned by billionaire magnate Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal.

The National Parks Association of Queensland has demanded the protection of Bimblebox's biodiversity, but Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says its status as a nature reserve did not mean it was untouchable.

In documents released this week showing the potential environmental impact of the project, Waratah claimed it would demand permission to mine parts of the Bimblebox reserve, or else its entire multi-billion-dollar plan would be in jeopardy.

For the Queensland Government, it reported, this would mean losing at least $3 billion in coal royalties.

Mr Seeney told APN it was up to Queensland Co-ordinator General Barry Broe to decide whether the importance of the reserve outweighed the financial benefit to the state.

"The process will identify how significant that nature reserve is," Mr Seeney said.

"There is a huge difference between a nature reserve and a national park.

"A nature reserve declaration does not give us any idea about what's there.

"We will need to let the process take its course."

Information on what is contained in Bimblebox will be included in Waratah's environmental documents, which Mr Broe will assess after the project's community discussion period ends on May 6.

The entire supplementary environmental impact statement released on Monday is available at dsdip.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  bimblebox china first coal project clive palmer galilee basin jeff seeney waratah coal



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