Board­walk to im­prove art ac­cess

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Shan­non Beat­tie

The rock art at Deep Gorge will soon be­come more of a draw­card with a board­walk due to be built to al­low eas­ier view­ing of the pet­ro­glyphs.

The Mu­ru­juga Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion and the Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions have been work­ing on the project which will in­crease visi­tor num­bers to the area in a safe way.

DBCA Pil­bara re­gional leader Ray De Jong said the or­gan­i­sa­tions had an obli­ga­tion to pro­tect cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant sites.

“Deep Gorge is an area that peo­ple fre­quent to look at the rock art which is ex­cel­lent, but as the pop­u­la­tion grows and the World Her­itage nom­i­na­tion process con­tin­ues, it will at­tract more peo­ple,” he said.

“We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to go there but it has to be done in a sus­tain­able man­ner.”

Con­cept plans for the board­walk have been ap­proved by MAC and el­ders and in­clude a cir­cu­lar loop with plat­forms that lead into the rocks where there are sig­nif­i­cant pet­ro­glyphs, with signs ex­plain­ing what they sym­bol­ise.

MAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Jef­fries said the board­walk project will con­trib­ute to the preser­va­tion and pro­tec­tion of their Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage.

“We hope the board­walk will not only pro­vide some pro­tec­tion for the rock art, but en­hance visi­tor ex­pe­ri­ences through pro­vid­ing easy ac­cess and in­ter­pre­tive sig­nage which will pro­mote a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture,” he said.

All of the rel­e­vant Fed­eral, State and her­itage boxes have been ticked and DBCA is now work­ing with Wood­side, MAC’s ar­chae­o­log­i­cal team and the el­ders to form a method­ol­ogy for the safe re­moval of nec­es­sary rocks.

It is hoped that construction will start in March and be com­pleted by mid-2019.

We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to go but . . . in a sus­tain­able man­ner.

Pic­ture: Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the mid­dle view­ing plat­form at Deep Gorge.

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