Gas Week

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A move of only 500m of Woodside Petroleum’s proposed Pluto LNG project on Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula would save rock art

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

A move of only 500m of Woodside Petroleum’s proposed Pluto LNG project on Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula would save the most significant rock art site in the world, Greens senator Rachel Siewert told The Canberra Times, (21/6/2007, p. 7). Senator Siewert joined Labor’s Carmen Lawrence, Independent Peter Andren and a group of activists in front of Parliament House to support the national heritage listing of indigenous rock art on the Burrup Peninsula. The peninsula, 267km west of Port Hedland, contains the largest concentration of rock art in the world, with some rock carvings dating back 30,000 years. The carvings include what may be the first representation of the human face in history. Some of the rock art is threatened by Woodside Petroleum’s $10 billion Pluto gas project.

National Heritage Listing: Woodside had already removed 42 motifs, which number in the thousands. The National Trust has sharply criticised the removal of the carvings and has also warned of the degradation of the remaining rock art that would result from industrial pollution if the Pluto project proceeds. In April, the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Malcolm Turnbull, said most of the rock art would he protected under national heritage listing by the middle of tile year. Senator Siewert said she was concerned the heritage listing would omit the Pluto site. “The important thing is they’ve got to list the whole site – [including] the Pluto site,” she said. “What the minister, as we understand it, is contemplating at the moment is listing it without the Pluto site, which will mean further loss of art.” She stressed that she was not opposed to the development, just its location.

The Canberra Times, 21/6/2007, p. 7

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