On Friday 20th December Greg Hunt, the Federal Minister for the Environment, announced his conditional approval for Waratah Coal’s proposed Galilee Coal Project (aka China First). Despite the decision being dated 19th December, it was not announced on the department’s website until 6pm the following day, the Friday before Christmas. There was also not the usual accompanying Ministerial press release.
In making this decision the Federal Government has joined with the Queensland State Government in giving the green light for the destruction of Bimblebox Nature Refuge. This is despite the Bimblebox landholders having entered binding conservation agreements with both levels of government more than ten years ago. If this mine goes ahead, it would represent the most significant impact experienced on a nature refuge to date.