Bimblebox support boosted by film

Bimblebox co-owner Paola Cassoni has been battling to save her property for four years.
Bimblebox co-owner Paola Cassoni has been battling to save her property for four years.

A DOCUMENTARY about Central Queensland landholders battling the coal industry made its official Queensland premiere in Brisbane last week, attracting a crowd that was spilling out of the cinema doors and onto the pavement.

About 300 people attended the screening of Bimblebox, a film depicting the story of a threatened Alpha nature refuge by the same name.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion that included scientists, clean energy advocates and Bimblebox co-owner Paola Cassoni.

The 8000ha property is the setting in which mining magnate Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal is pushing ahead with plans to turn the privately-owned nature refuge into part of a mega-mine that would begin opening the Galilee Basin.

Ms Cassoni has been battling to save the refuge, which she said was an ecological oasis in the otherwise heavily cleared Desert Uplands bioregion.

Despite having fought the battle for the past four years, she said the burgeoning public interest in the documentary was heartening.

"The public reception to this film tells us that more and more people are becoming aware of the danger of just burying our heads in the sand when it comes to future land use in this country," Ms Cassoni said.

"This documentary isn't just about Bimblebox Nature Refuge - it's about landholders all over Queensland and New South Wales who are using all of their efforts to stem the tide of the coal mining and coal seam gas.

"These polluting and out-of-date industries are threatening to destroy highly valuable conservation areas… as well as the very land that can feed us into the future."

Under the Waratah Coal plan, 52% of Bimblebox would be an open-cut coal mine, with the rest of the property subject to long-wall underground mining.

Waratah's Environmental Impact Statement attracted more than 1800 submissions late last year, and is now being considered by the Coordinator-General.

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