Push to put Burrup on World Heritage list
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.
Former Australian Greens leader Christine Milne and archaeologist Ken Mulvaney inspect rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.