Dampier Archipelago

Dampier Archipelago

World Heritage for threatened Burrup Peninsula reveals deep divisions in Government

Tuesday, 23 August

WA Greens Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC has welcomed the WA Nationals support for World Heritage Listing of the Burrup Peninsula, despite Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier stating the Government’s policy remains unchanged.

“In a speech made to Aboriginal elders, local councillors and other important members of the Pilbara community at the Cossack Art Awards last month Mr Grylls, now WA Nationals Leader, stated he was strongly supportive of seeking World Heritage listing for the Burrup Peninsula,” Mr Chapple said.

“Yet Mr Collier has confirmed in Parliament he has no intentions of seeking World Heritage Listing for the Burrup Peninsula, further highlighting the deep divisions within this government.

“Stating that ‘World Heritage Listing would not confer any additional statutory protection’ but that he was committed to helping traditional owners‘achieve cultural aspirations’, Mr Collier’s justifications were contradictory and highly culturally insensitive.

“Not only would World Heritage Listing provide the Burrup Peninsula with the recognition it deserves, internationally, as one of the most important early rock art sites in Australia but achieving this recognition and level of protection is, and has been for a long time, a significant aspiration of Traditional Owners.

“With the Yara Pilbara Technical Ammonium Nitrate Production Facility set to enter production later this year there are massive existing, and further potential, threats that must be acknowledged by this Parliament.”

Hon Robin Chapple MLC nominated the Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago for World Heritage Listing in 2003 to then Federal Environment Minister David Kemp.

A copy of the Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier’s response in Parliament on Thursday, 18 August 2016, along with some historical documents relating to the World Heritage aspirations of Traditional Owners with regards to the Burrup Peninsula are attached.

Major parties both support Burrup development

24 March, 2016

WA Greens Mines and Petroleum spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said he was disappointed by comments from Opposition Leader Mark McGowan that suggested Labor supported onshore LNG processing near Karratha.

“Mr McGowan last week suggested Woodside’s Browse LNG project could have been underway years ago with an onshore processing plant near Karratha, originally earmarked for the Burrup Peninsula,” Mr Chapple said.

“It is extremely disappointing to learn that both major parties continue to support the desecration of some of Australia’s, arguably the world’s, most significant Aboriginal rock carvings.

“We have already lost so much of the Burrup to industry – as much as 11% or over 10,000 carvings – surely what remains is worth protecting to the highest possible standard; a World Heritage Listing.

“To the best of my knowledge, Woodside has investigated potentially piping gas to the Burrup on a number of occasions previously and found it to be fiscally untenable. 

“The WA Greens do not support any new development on the Burrup Peninsula whatsoever; the long-term benefits of protecting this site far outweigh any others, particularly from a dying fossil fuel industry.”

For comment please contact Media Liaison Tim Oliver on 0431 9696 25 or 9486 8255.

Greens slam government for poor vision on Barrow

Thursday, 26 February


Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral region Robin Chapple yesterday slammed the government’s 2015 Barrow Island management plan as largely not addressing the extent of the issues present nor accounting for the growth in size of the Gorgon project.

The environmental management plan lays out the government’s expectations relating to the island’s natural environment, cultural heritage and resources for the next 10 years.

Mr Chapple said the management plan offered nothing useful in the way of restoring what had already been damaged on Barrow Island but instead offered a method of simply managing the status quo.

“There is absolutely nothing new in this plan that wasn’t already a part of Gorgon’s original contract for the island,” he said.

“There has been a large expansion of the project – it is now 2 or 3 times the size it was intended to be – and this management plan fails to address any of the subsequent issues caused by this expansion.

“When Colin Barnett was opposition leader he said Gorgon should never have been allowed on Barrow Island and vowed to force them off should he become Premier.

“As is so often the case with our Premier he has neglected to follow through with this commitment, perhaps hoping the rest of us would just forget about the issue?”

Mr Chapple said Barrow Island was a poorly managed environmental disaster.

“Invasive species at critical levels, injured and threatened native species, loss of natural habitats due to concrete infrastructure, poorly managed quarantine – the list goes on,” he said.

“As the Gorgon project continues to expand so too will the threats to this pristine environment, in particularly the 24 species of endemic native flora and fauna.

“I believe the situation has reached a point where, once Gorgon has vacated the premises, it will take billions of dollars’ worth of reinvestment to return Barrow Island to the sensitive state it was in prior to the arrival of Chevron.”

For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

Media liaison: Tim Oliver     

Mobile: 0431 9696 25


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