A press release on Bimblebox

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: A press release on Bimblebox
From: John Leonard <>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 09:21:24 +1000
These comments on the finches demonstrate the classic tactics used by
anti-environmentalists the world over. Firstly over-simplify, reduce the
issue to one species, then claim that the species isn't endangered, that
there are more of them than environmentalists are letting on, or that they
are breeding elsewhere, or that they are not actually present. This doesn't
convince anyone, but it spreads enough fog that people who aren't
particularly interested have a vague impression that the environmentalists
are exaggerating. (Note similarities with climate change denialism).

Meanwhile the fact that a unique habitat important for hundreds of species,
not just Black-throated Finches, is going to be vandalised in order to
extract fossil fuels, which would already have been superseded as an energy
source if the same business lobby hadn't been so successful in muddying the
waters on on renewables too.

And so our supposedly intelligent species shambles towards extinction.

John Leonard

On 8 May 2012 07:44, Grahame Rogers <> wrote:

> Sorry if I am annoying you, but the issue of mining on Nature Refuges is
> critical to the future of the conservation of Australian birds in Australia
> BirdLife Southern Queensland Convenor Grahame Rogers is concerned about
> recent misinformation being circulated in the mediaabout sightings of the
> endangered Black-throated Finch in the Galilee Basin.
> "Allegations that aviary-bred Black-throated Finches were released so that
> sightings could be reported are not only untrue but a mischievous and
> ridiculous comment", Mr Rogers said. "It is hard to imagine how this could
> be done. The members of the team are in no doubt that they saw birds from
> wild populations. "
> A seventeen-strong contingent of experiencedmembers of BirdLife Australia
> visited the coal exploration area of the Galilee basin in the last two
> weeks of April. Black-throated Fincheswere seen and photographed in 5
> separate locations, in most cases by 5 or 6 members of the team.
> The records have been accepted by the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team,
> and submitted to the Atlas of Australian Birds. In four of the locations
> the Finch has been seen repeatedly over many years, and the landholders
> have noted their presence. It is a last bastion of this endangered species.
> These sightings were all in a particular kind of regional ecosystem
> (10.5.5) which also occurs on the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, where the finch
> was recorded in May 2011. "Even if the Black-throated Finch is no longer
> present on Bimblebox itself, the Refuge is worth preserving because of its
> unique biodiversity", said Mr Rogers. "The owners have spent much time
> restoring it since they purchased the property with Federal funds, removing
> many of the introduced weeds and grasses."
> "BirdLife Australia is not opposed to mining, but is opposed to mining in
> inappropriate places", Mr Rogers said. "Adani claim they have enough coal
> to last a hundred years in the Carmichael mining lease in the Galilee
> Basin. The 8000 hectares of Bimblebox are a drop in the ocean of coal in
> the basin. It's time Clive Palmer looked somewhere else."
> BirdLife Australia is a well-respected national organisation formed this
> year by the merger of Birds Australia and Bird Observation and Conservation
> Australia. Both organisations have been strong advocates for research and
> protection of Australia's rich heritage of many bird species for over 100
> years.
> Grahame Rogers
> Convenor
> BirdLife Southern Queensland
> Additional material from
>   Bimblebox <>
> May 5th, 2012
> Clive Palmer has again come out in the media trying to diminish the
> conservation values of Bimblebox Nature Refuge (you can listen to his
> interview on the Steve Austin show here <**
> queensland/2012/05/clive-**palmer-showman-or-savvy.html<>
> >)**. He has a clear vested interest in casting these aspersions given
> that he intends to destroy the property through open cut and underground
> mining as part of his proposed China First thermal coal mine. You can hear
> a response to Clive Palmer's comments on the Steve Austin show here <
> telling-the-truth-about-**bimblebox-nature-refuge.html<>
> >.
> The problem for Clive is that he appears to have little idea about the
> nature refuge, which he has never set foot on. Below are a few simple facts
> to set the record straight:
>  * The property was bought in 2000 by a small group of concerned
>   landholders and residents to save it from being cleared. The
>   previous landholders continue to be well respected graziers in the
>   region
>  * In recognition of its high conservation values, the National Reserve
>   System program (at the time of the Howard Liberal Federal
>   Government) contributed around $300,000 towards the purchase -- see
>   the documentation here
>   <**content/uploads/2012/05/**
> Letter-from-Minister-Robert-**Hill_for-web.pdf<>
> >
>  * A 'perpetual' Nature Refuge Agreement
>   <**wildlife-ecosystems/nature_**
> refuges/the_nature_refuges_**program.html<>
> >
>   was signed with the State Government in 2003 which is the highest
>   level of protection that can be afforded to private land in
>   Queensland. Bimblebox also forms part of the National Reserve System
>   of Protected Areas 
> <**au/parks/nrs/index.html<>
> >
>  * Bimblebox is situated in the Desert Uplands bioregion, considered a
>   biodiversity hotspot, but where less than 5% of the area is held is
>   conservation reserves
>  * Bimblebox Nature Refuge consists of over 95% remnant woodland
>   (woodland that has never been cleared) with an understory made up
>   predominantly of native grasses and shrubs
>  * There is abundant wildlife on the property, with around 150 bird
>   species counted so far
>  * Bimblebox is widely regarded as supporting one of the highest levels
>   of native plant diversity in the region. Qualified botanists
>   <**php?option=com_content&task=**
> view&id=167&Itemid=2<>
> >
>   who recently visited the property made a list of at least 220 plant
>   species
>  * Bimblebox currently serves as an outstanding example of the
>   coexistence of cattle production and biodiversity conservation.
>   Private productive lands are increasingly recognised for their
>   important role in contributing to landscape scale conservation in
>   Australia and form a major part of theNational Reserve System
>   <**au/parks/nrs/about/protected-**
> areas/index.html<>
> >
>  * A number of long term research projects are conducted on Bimblebox
>   that will contribute towards better land management outcomes in the
>   region
> This isn't the first time that Clive has tried to peddle the same lies
> about Bimblebox, which we responded to with this simple youtube clip <
> >.
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John Leonard

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