Qld graziers take coal mine fight to court

Cheryl Goodenough

Conservationists have launched a court battle against Clive Palmer's proposed Queensland coal mine, saying it will destroy wildlife and and impact graziers.

The owners of the 8000-hectare Bimblebox Nature Refuge in central Queensland filed an objection to Waratah Coal's proposed mining project in the Galilee Basin on Monday in the Land Court in Brisbane.

Co-owner Paola Cassoni says Mr Palmer wants to build a mine that will destroy a nature reserve where more than 150 bird species, including the endangered black-throated finch, and other wildlife have been observed.

She said contracts were signed with the Commonwealth and Queensland governments about 20 years ago enabling the development of the conservation-based grazing property.

"We will fight to save this invaluable island of remnant woodland," she said in a statement.

"We cannot stand by and allow the trashing of nature for coal."

Environmental Defenders Office CEO David Morris, acting for the Bimblebox owners, said the project would destroy about half the nature refuge which also operates as a cattle station.

"The project consists of two open-cut pits and four underground mines that will totally destroy roughly 50 per cent of the nature refuge and cut underneath the remainder, leaving it in ruins," Mr Morris said.

"It will have a huge impact on local graziers and destroy a private conservation reserve that is one of the largest tracts of intact woodland in Queensland and home to hundreds of species, many of which are rare or endangered."

The matter will be heard in the Land Court at a later date.