Media Release: Test for Morrison Government: Put Burrup on World Heritage Tentative List Now – Christine Milne

“The announcement that the WA Government and the Ngarluma, Yinjibarndi, Yaburara, Mardudhunera, Wong-Goo-Tt-Oo people and the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation have signed an intention to proceed with developing a proposal for World Heritage Listing of the Aboriginal petroglyphs of the Dampier Archipelago is good news but must be followed by immediate Federal Government leadership.” Christine Milne of the Bob Brown Foundation, said today.

"The Commonwealth should take immediate leadership on the issue as only the Commonwealth can propose a site for World Heritage. I call on Minister Price to support World Heritage Listing for the Burrup and immediately put the Burrup on Australia’s Tentative World Heritage List.”

“The Western Australian Government should now defer to the Commonwealth to lead the process in consultation with the Aboriginal people or be seen to be engaged in 18 months of delaying tactics.”

“At the same time, Environment Minister Price, local member for Durack, should require all new industrial developments to be located at the Maitland Industrial Estate and order a full assessment of the total pollution load in the Burrup Peninsula airshed with a view to radically reducing it.”


“The celebration and protection of the Aboriginal petroglyphs of the Burrup Peninsula is long overdue. The Federal Government has no excuse for not proceeding to list the area on Australia’s World Heritage Tentative list straight away in a parallel process to that being conducted in WA. Such a process would allow for full consultation, the assessment of appropriate boundaries and the formulation of joint management plans before the area is nominated.”

“Another eighteen months delay is a cynical recipe for the WA Government to approve further heavy polluting industry in the area as foreshadowed by WA Government earlier this year.”

“Art which tells the story of 40,000 years of continuous human habitation should not be subjected every day to pollution from the processing of gas by Woodside, Shell, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron and from the fertiliser and technical ammonium nitrate plants operated by Norwegian company YARA as well as the ship’s emissions from the Dampier Port.”

“It is a sign of the contempt Australian Governments and the mining industry have had for our first people and their culture, that the largest and oldest rock art gallery in the world has been used as a heavy industrial site and subjected to high pollution loads for the past 50 years.”

“The recent Senate Inquiry found that action to reduce emissions from existing industry is critical to protecting the rock art. It will be political opportunism to talk up heritage protection and tourism without a reduction in the emissions which are destroying the petroglyphs.”

“This is a test for the new Morrison Government.” Christine Milne said.


Contact: Jenny Weber on 0427 366 929


  1. An area has to be on Australia’s Tentative list of World Heritage properties for at least a year before UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will consider its inclusion on the World Heritage list. 


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