WA Greens hopeful Senate committee will recommend stronger protections for Ancient Burrup rock art

Monday, 16 October 2017

The WA Greens are hopeful a senate report into the impact industry emissions are having on the Burrup Peninsula’s ancient rock  art, due to be handed down this Wednesday, will initiate action to ensure this internationally significant site remains protected.

The Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications will release its report into the Protection of Aboriginal Rock Art on the Burrup Peninsula this coming Wednesday, 18 October.

WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple said he hoped the committee recognised both the global significance of the site, and the very real threat of permanent damage already posed by the concentration of heavy industry on the Peninsula.

“The Burrup Peninsula is the most incredible living art gallery containing literally millions of petroglyphs that record human occupation of this area for up to 40,000 years,” Mr Chapple said.

“It’s not just important for archaeological or anthropological reasons, or even just for cultural reasons; it is a site unlike anywhere else in the world and we as Australians should be proud of the heritage and knowledge that this place stores.

“The impacts of the industrial emissions from the many different industries present on the Burrup-Maitland Industrial Estates was highlighted at length during committee hearings by leading experts in the fields of archaeology, anthropology and Aboriginal heritage.

“I am hopeful that the exposure of significant flaws in previous rock art monitoring programs, and new research from Sydney University showing the damage that industrial emissions is having on rock surfaces within the industrial estate will have weighed heavily on the committee’s recommendations.

“Best case scenario is that there must be an entire overhaul of the existing industries on the Burrup Peninsula to ensure we are not getting acid-raid like scenarios damaging ancient rock art, and a complete ban on any new development along the Peninsula.”

“Despite the State Government’s recent draft Rock Art Strategy  showing virtually no change in the site’s management, and no tangible outcomes for future management, I am hopeful that we can get this globally significant site the World Heritage Listing protection it deserves.

On Wednesday, 18 October the report will be made available here: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/BurrupPeninusla

Media Contact:

Tim Oliver – 0431 9696 25

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