Push to put Bur­rup on World Her­itage list

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

For­mer Aus­tralian Greens leader Chris­tine Milne is head­ing up a new lobby move­ment to give the Bur­rup Penin­sula World Her­itage sta­tus be­fore the State elec­tion.

Ms Milne, sup­ported by Friends of Aus­tralian Rock Art and the Bob Brown Foun­da­tion, will be lob­by­ing the State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments in the leadup to the elec­tion to act on the long-held and widely sup­ported idea for the penin­sula to be added to the pres­ti­gious World Her­itage list.

Vis­it­ing Kar­ratha this month to tour the Bur­rup, she said there was no doubt the penin­sula qual­i­fied for World Her­itage sta­tus with pet­ro­glyphs more than 30,000 years old, but the prob­lem was that “no­body’s ac­tu­ally driv­ing it”. “This has been on the agenda for so long; ev­ery­one’s said ‘yes, let’s do it’ for so long, but it’s just sat there,” she said.

“It’s just made me even more de­ter­mined that I will drive it, mainly by co-or­di­nat­ing and en­er­gis­ing the peo­ple who all sup­port it to give it a push.”

Ms Milne said World Her­itage list­ing the Bur­rup would give the Pil­bara and WA a “global pro­file” as a cul­tural tourist site, pro­mote recog­ni­tion of in­dige­nous cul­ture, strengthen en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion of the site and re­duce in­dus­try un­cer­tainty over operations in the area.

“Rock art on the Bur­rup shows con­tin­ual hu­man habi­ta­tion from 30,000 years ago to 200 years ago,” she said.

“Nowhere else in the word can show you that.” The cam­paign comes as news the penin­sula, as well as James Price Point in the Kim­ber­ley, will have their sta­tus un­der the Abo­rig­i­nal Her­itage Act re­assessed at a meet­ing of the Abo­rig­i­nal Cul­tural Ma­te­ri­als Com­mit­tee next month.

Min­is­ter for Her­itage Al­bert Ja­cob said Mu­ru­juga Na­tional Park was “ex­tremely sig­nif­i­cant” as the site of the largest con­cen­tra­tion of pet­ro­glyphs in the world, but was al­ready pro­tected un­der sev­eral pieces of leg­is­la­tion and the Na­tional Her­itage List.

“Any process to have the area World Her­itage listed will take time and will re­quire con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cal stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing in­dus­try, lo­cal, State and Com­mon­wealth agen­cies,” he said.

Pic­ture: Robin Chap­ple

For­mer Aus­tralian Greens leader Chris­tine Milne and ar­chae­ol­o­gist Ken Mul­vaney in­spect rock art on the Bur­rup Penin­sula.

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