Thousands of letters sent to protest creation of mine

The China First mine planned for the Galilee Basin could have an impact on the endangered Black-throated Finch in the Bimblebox Nature Reserve.
The China First mine planned for the Galilee Basin could have an impact on the endangered Black-throated Finch in the Bimblebox Nature Reserve. Ian Montgomery

A CONTENTIOUS mining project planned by magnate Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal prompted thousands of letters in protest as the government released plans for public consultation.

The latest environmental impact documents for the Galilee Coal Project - formerly China First - were released for a month from April 6.

Concerned farmers and conservationists took issue with comments in the report warning that the mine needed areas of the Bimblebox Nature Reserve for it to be viable.

The supplementary environmental impact statement found, "for the Galilee Coal Project, the (coal) reserves beneath the Bimblebox Nature Reserve are critical and the most cost-effective of all (coal) reserves".

More than 4000 joined in a campaign of sending form letters against the project to the Department of State Development from Bimblebox's conservation website.

The 8000ha reserve was preserved by a number of land holders in the Galilee Basin, west of Rockhampton, after they grew concerned with swathes of land being cleared.

Reserve co-owner Paola Cassoni told APN in April the creation of a mine would destroy the pristine ecology of the site.

"There is no price, it is priceless," she said at the time.

The reserve is also home to a number of endangered and threatened species of animal, including the black-throated finch.

Queensland Co-ordinator General Barry Broe will now work through each of the submissions.

A government spokeswoman on Wednesday said land owners and others supplied 46 submissions, while government and non-government agencies - mostly conservation groups - contributed 14 each.

The rest came in the form of two form letters.She said the process was not about voting for or against a project, but raising issues.

"The purpose of the consultation on the supplementary environmental impact scheme was to give people an opportunity to comment and identify any issues or impacts not addressed adequately in their opinion," she said.Mr

Broe will now assess Galilee Coal project alongside the community responses.

Topics:  bimblebox clive palmer protest waratah coal

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