Art de­fines refuge risk

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

PHOTO: Jamie Kron­borg

A NORTH East en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cate who in re­cent years has raised more than $ 30,000 to pro­tect a cen­tral west­ern Queens­land wood­land na­ture refuge has won praise for her work from a Beech­worth friend.

Linda Bunn said Mau­reen Cooper, who is ex­hibit­ing at May­day Hills a di­verse col­lec­tion of tex­tiles, art­works and pho­to­graphs to cel­e­brate the rich­ness of Bim­ble­box Na­ture Refuge, said “some­times we don’t see the an­gel in our midst”.

Bim­ble­box, an 8000- hectare prop­erty gazetted as a refuge in 1993, sus­tains an es­ti­mated 95 per cent of its orig­i­nal veg­e­ta­tion species and is home to many flora and fauna of con­ser­va­tion sig­nif­i­cance, in­clud­ing the black- throated finch.

The tiny 15- gram bird – Poephila cincta cincta – is listed by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s En­vi­ron­ment Aus­tralia and the New South www.omad­ver­ Wales gov­ern­ment as en­dan­gered and by Queens­land as vul­ner­a­ble.

But pre­lim­i­nary per­mits have now been is­sued for coal min­ing in the area, chal­leng­ing the refuge – which is com­pletely sur­rounded by cleared land – about 500 kilo­me­tres west of Rock­hamp­ton, be­tween Emer­ald and Bar­cal­dine.

Mau­reen de­scribes the ex­hi­bi­tion of al­most 40 pho­to­graphs, 14 art­works and three tex­tile works by con­ser­va­tion­ists, Bim­ble­box sup­port­ers and artists as a jour­ney through the refuge and its vul­ner­a­ble land­scape.

She said it showed peo­ple what would be lost if the pro­posed Chine First mine is al­lowed to pro­ceed.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is open at May­day Hills Arts So­ci­ety’s Gre­vil­lea Gallery be­tween 11: 30am and 3: 30pm Thurs­day- Mon­day un­til the end of Jan­uary, next year.

Some of the works, and books and cal­en­dars, are for sale.

CREATIVE AD­VO­CATE: Mau­reen Cooper (right) with friends Philip and Linda Bunn and daugh­ter Michelle Mace and one of Mau­reen’s works at the Bim­ble­box Na­ture Refuge ex­hi­bi­tion – open in Beech­worth un­til the end of Jan­uary.

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