Vandalism of Burrup Rock Art a preventable tragedy

Click to enlargeGreens MLC Robin Chapple has condemned the latest desecration of rock art on the Burrup Peninsula and blasted the political complacency that has allowed such vandalism to occur.

“It is disgraceful that in an era when we expect cultural heritage—particularly sites of international significance—to be respected and protected, such desecration can take place,” Mr. Chapple said.

“This has come about as a result of continued mismanagement of the heritage and conservation values of this part of the world, which unfortunately continues to this day.”

Mr. Chapple inspected the latest act of vandalism today [see attached photograph].

“Acts of this nature inflict cultural trauma on the Indigenous custodians of the Burrup,” Mr. Chapple said.

“In human terms it is the equivalent of vandalizing Stonehenge or the Pyramids.

“A significant number of carvings have been stolen or damaged due to the poor environmental and heritage management of the Burrup, the irresponsible industrialization of the region and the failure of successive governments to negotiate joint management of the Dampier Archipelago and Burrup Peninsula with Traditional Owners.”

In August 2009, Robin Chapple introduced a motion into WA Parliament urging the Barnett government to nominate the Dampier Archipelago and Burrup Peninsula for inclusion on the World Heritage List. 

“There are thousands of carvings here that date back to before the ice age, making it a place of immense cultural and historical significance,” Mr. Chapple said.

“The Premier has spoken on many occasions about the importance of protecting the rock art of the Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago.

“I trust Mr. Barnett will now keep his word, in light of this latest desecration, and finally move to protect this incredibly significant heritage site.

“Failure to act, when we know full well the importance of this place, would be a tragedy of epic proportions.”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

Go to top