Qld nature refuge owner bid to stop mining
Market watch top headlines
BRISBANE, Nov 22 AAP
November 22 2011, 6:23PM
A nature refuge owner hopes the discovery of a rare endangered bird on her land, and the prospect of finding more, will protect her property from the mining industry.
Paola Cassoni, one of the owners of Bimblebox in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, says black-throated finches have been spotted on her property by Birds Australia representatives, and there could be far more endangered wildlife there that has not yet been spotted.
"The whole place is pretty much under-discovered. There could be so much more out there," she told AAP.
Ms Cassoni, who bought the land in 2000, was approached by Warratah Coal in 2007 for the creation of the China First coal mine. The land was made a refuge in 2003.
"Making my land a nature refuge was a sacrifice but a passion. Nobody made us do it but we wanted it to be protected in perpetuity," She said
"I am now worried that won't happen.
"I can't think about the prospect of mining going ahead at Bimblebox, the land thrashed, the animals gone, I just want to think about saving it."
The National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) on Tuesday called on the state government to offer nature refuges the same protection from mining as national parks.
Paul Donatiu, executive coordinator of NPAQ, said the government must protect the land.
"Nature refuge landowners are stewards of the bush, protecting the fundamental services that benefit us all - clean air, water and soil. The government must show faith in these land managers and move to protect their properties from mining," he said.
At a press conference in Brisbane, Marta Hardeman, owner of Black Snake nature refuge on the Sunshine Coast, said she felt that giving up her land was not valued by the government.
"I see that our family has given a gift to the country by signing up to the nature refuge program. It's the second ultimate sacrifice you can make for your country - not your life but your land, forever - so I am watching with great disturbance what is happening at Bimblebox."
By Laura Harding