Clive bumbles on Bimblebox

Mining magnate Clive Palmer in Yeppoon to address a business lunch.
Mining magnate Clive Palmer in Yeppoon to address a business lunch. Chris Ison

LARGER-THAN-LIFE mining billionaire Clive Palmer has come under fire over comments about an 8000ha nature refuge near Alpha that stands in the way of his $8 billion China First mega mine.

The always-vocal Mr Palmer claimed Bimblebox Nature Refuge had been "completely destroyed" by decades of grazing and was not worth protecting.

"The pastoralists left that to the green movement, and the Bligh government - who was very, very anti-conservation - took four years to grade it as a reserve," Mr Palmer said.

But landholders and conservation groups were left dumbfounded by Mr Palmer's claims, which they said were completely untrue.

Firstly, it emerged Bimblebox was declared under the Peter Beattie-led government in 2003. And it was the federal Liberal government under John Howard that deemed its biodiversity sufficient enough to invest more than $300,000 towards its protection.

The National Parks Association of Queensland has called on federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to 'directly intervene' and protect the nature refuge following a recent survey it completed that showcased Bimblebox's "extraordinary biodiversity".

"Ninety-five per cent of the land there is uncleared vegetated land," NPAQ executive coordinator Paul Donatiu said.

"In two days we found over 220 different plant species.

"That is an amazing outcome and the opposite of what Clive Palmer is suggesting.

"To hear Clive's comments, it is almost as though he is talking about the neighbouring properties because from what we recorded it certainly doesn't reflect Bimblebox.

"Mining would completely destroy the refuge and set a dangerous precedent."

In 2000, the property was bought by a small group of concerned landholders to save it from being cleared.

Co-owner Paola Cassoni said only about 5% of the Desert Uplands bioregion was under protection.

"To suggest it has been destroyed by grazing is misleading and wrong," Ms Cassoni said.

"Grazing has been here for over 150 years very sparingly; it has been used for management under guidelines."

Mr Donatiu said Bimblebox was a good example of low-level grazing for conservation.

There are no Queensland nature refuges protected from mining.

The Environmental Impact Statement for the China First Coal Project is currently being assessed by the State Government.

The campaign to save Bimblebox was recently recognised in a film of the same name by award-winning US filmmaker Michael O'Connell.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Walk-in mine a gem

UP FOR AWARD: The Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine tour.

The Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine is competing for a tourism award

New store opened in Clermont

KENNEDY & GRACE: Store owner Chloe Hodgkinson with her children in the new shop in Clermont.

Clermont is home to the newly re-opened Kennedy & Grace.

Girls night out in memory of Kim-Marie Brown

SUPPORT: Grace Ferguson with her parents Kyle and Kim, at the day for diabetes held in Dingo at the weekend.
Photo Meghan Kidd / CQ News

Girls Night Out in memory of Kim-Marie Brown.

Local Partners

Plenty of things to do in the region in the coming week

From dance productions to bargain hunting - here's plenty to do in the region in this week and next

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Peter Pan comes to Emerald

Peter Pan comes to the Central Highlands.

Peter Pan flies in to the Central Highlands this month

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.