Burrup listing under hot debate
WA’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister is sticking to his guns over world heritage listing the Burrup Peninsula despite the WA Premier and Nationals leader talking up the long-debated proposal in recent weeks.
WA Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls has made several speeches at high-profile Pilbara events such as the Cossack Art Awards the and Dampier Community Hub opening this year about the need to world heritage list the peninsula.
Premier Colin Barnett expressed his support in a video and when questioned at the opening of the Yara TAN plant a fortnight ago.
However, responding to questions without notice in Parliament, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier said he was satisfied with current arrangements.
“The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 protects those places that meet the requirements of section 5 of the Act, including many thousands of rock art motifs and two protected areas that have been declared over part of the Burrup Peninsula,” he said. “In 2007, a National Heritage listing was declared over a substantial portion of the Burrup Peninsula, providing further protection.
“In 2013, Murujuga National Park on the Burrup Peninsula was declared Western Australia’s 100th national park and, as a result, it was afforded protection through the provisions of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984.”
Mr Collier said a decision on world heritage listing the Burrup Peninsula should have input from traditional owners.
Mr Barnett said there was still work to do but there was no doubt the site was worthy of world heritage listing.
“There are a number issues and the most significant of those is the co-existence of major industry with the rock art of the area,” he said.
“We would only pursue world heritage listing if we were assured they could co-exist.”
Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple said while some ministers’ efforts ought to be commended, the rest of the Government needed to show support.
“Mr Grylls has given some amazing speeches about the values of it but two days ago the Government said ‘no, not interested’ in world heritage listing,” he said.
Mr Chapple said UNESCO would take a nomination on board immediately should the State Government put it forward.