Survey shows what could be at risk by proposed Bundy mine
FINDINGS from a botanical survey have revealed almost 800 native plants and more than 50 bird species could be threatened by a potential coal mine project north of Bundaberg.
The survey was conducted at the proposed Avondale coal mine site by botanists Ann Moran and Maurenn Schmitt in June.
"Our survey data indicates a rich variety of plant communities and it would be a great shame if they disappeared due to a coal mine being built," Ms Schmitt said.
"Even though this land is mostly farmland, there are still patches of bushland that provide critical habitat for our plant and animal species.
"We need to protect these areas because when they disappear, so to do our native plants and animals."
A total of 769 native plant species from 43 locations within the proposed mine footprint were identified, as well as 52 bird species and 355 birds at six sites which represented different habitats.
Of the plant species found, 13 were classified as endangered and nine listed as at risk.
If the proposed coal mine site in Avondale was to go ahead, the development would be owned by Western Australia-based business Fox Resources.
Fox Resources CFO Bruce Garlick said the company had not received any information in relation to the botanical and avian survey and looked forward to receiving the report.
"Prior to any project activity by Fox Resources, it will need to complete a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and, as an element of that, assess a range of impacts, whether social, economic or environmental, including impacts upon native fauna and flora," Mr Garlick said.
"As matters stand, the EIS and other studies to determine whether it is feasible to pursue a project will take a minimum of two years and Fox Resources looks forward to engaging with all affected stakeholders during the course of those studies.
"Critically, Fox Resources is conscious of the need to provide an exclusion zone around Avondale and will keep all affected stakeholders informed of that exclusion zone."
Lock the Gate Alliance Wide Bay spokeswoman Vicki Perrin said she believes the results of the survey indicates the need for the State Government to change the Regional Planning Interests Act, to ensure coal mining and gas projects could no longer place farmland at risk.
"This highly valuable farmland provides corridors for threatened species and should be protected," she said.
"These plant communities and birds would be lost if Fox Resources is able to build a coal mine in this area, as would these farms that feed Queenslanders."