Simple solution will save rock art and keep industry

May 31, 2004 - Greens MLC Robin Chapple has backed the National Trust's efforts to save the priceless rock art of the Burrup Peninsula and has urged the State Government to direct industrial development in the region to more suitable sites.

‘What did the Government expect?' Mr Chapple said. ‘This nomination comes on top of many international efforts to protect the rock art (see attached list).'

“The State Government can save the rock art and still have a thriving industrial base in the area, simply by using the Maitland Industrial Estate facility,” said Mr Chapple.

“The rock art would be saved and the State's industrial and economic needs would be serviced.

“To pretend those opposed to the destruction of Australia's Stonehenge are anti-development is ludicrous. Anyone with sense can see the simple solution that solves both problems – save the rock art by using Maitland Industrial Estate.

“Western Australia needs sustainable industrial development but why should it come at the cost of irreplaceable rock art that is recognised the world over for its huge significance.

“The State Government is in effect funding one of the worst cases of environmental and heritage vandalism the State has ever seen. Huge swathes are being cut through the Burrup – and there is only one company that has actually committed to going there to operate!

“The Burrup is home to Australia's Stonehenge, and irreplaceable works from our first inhabitants are being lost forever at the taxpayers' expense.

“I don't think the people of Western Australia are these days willing to pay any price for economic benefits – and they don't have to here.

“The State Government can save the rock art and attract industry simply by using Maitland.”

Burrup Peninsula Heritage Listings

as at Monday, 31 May 2004


International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO)

Federation of national and regional Organizations promoting the study of palaeoart and cognitive archaeology. Led by the outspoken rock art scholar Robert Bednarik, IFRAO has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the Burrup globally.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

International non-governmental organization of professionals, dedicated to the conservation of the world's historic monuments and sites. ICOMOS has an international role under the World Heritage Convention to advise the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO on the nomination of new sites to the World Heritage List. Listed the Burrup on the Heritage at Risk list 2002-2003.

World Monuments Fund

The foremost private, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic art and architecture worldwide. Based in New York City, the WMF listed the Burrup in 2003 on the World Monuments Watch: 100 most endangered sites, the first Australian site to ever be listed.

The National Trust

Pre-eminent community based heritage organization in Australia; nominated the Burrup in 2002 to the National Trust Endangered Places List.

Australian Conservation Foundation

At the National Council In July 2002 Australia's peak conservation body moved to condemn the WA Government's drive to destroy the Burrup. The ACF later ran a front-cover article on the campaign to save the area.

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