Bird at Bimblebox

Half of the 8000 ha Bimblebox Nature Reserve is slated for open-cut coal pits under the Galilee Coal proposal.

The Galilee Coal Project, otherwise known as the China First Coal Project, is a proposal for a 40 mega-tonne per annum thermal coal mine and 453km rail transportation network to the port of Abbot Point, where the coal would be exported through the Great Barrier Reef1.

The project proponent is Waratah Coal, a company owned by billionaire Federal MP Clive Palmer.

The mine site is in the southern Galilee Basin, 30 km north of Alpha and about 450 km west of Rockhampton.

The mine is opposed by the founders of the 8,000 ha Bimblebox Nature Refuge,  half of which is set to be cleared to make way for the project2.  The Refuge’s remnant woodland is habitat for endangered species, including the Black Throated bimblebox-buttonFinch and koalas3.

Waratah Coal put the cost of the mine and rail project at $6.4 billion4, while an Oxford University report found production costs for the project were likely to be well above the depressed price for thermal coal5.

The Galilee Coal project has received all necessary environmental approvals but is yet to receive an Environmental Authority or Mining Licence6 from the Queensland Government.

Further information:


  1. Galilee Coal Project, Queensland Government 

  2. Coal mining still threatens Bimblebox Nature Refuge near Alpha where conservationists are under siege from miners like Clive Palmer, Courier Mail 

  3. Clive Palmer’s Galilee Basin mine given green light by Greg Hunt, The Guardian 

  4. Galilee Coal Project, Queensland Government 

  5. Australian coal price, Index Mundi 

  6. Galilee Coal Project, Queensland Government