- McGowan Government to begin UNESCO World Heritage nomination process for the Burrup Peninsula
- Traditional owners offer support for World Heritage nomination
- The Burrup Peninsula is home to the world's highest concentration of rock art
- The Premier and Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation sign a joint letter of support
The McGowan Government will commence a UNESCO World Heritage nomination process for the Burrup Peninsula and surrounds, following formal support from traditional owners.
Premier Mark McGowan, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and representatives from the five traditional language groups today signed a joint letter of support, addressed to the Commonwealth Government, to begin the formal process.
The Dampier Archipelago, the Burrup Peninsula and Murujuga National Park are home to the world's highest concentration of rock art engravings, or petroglyphs.
These petroglyphs are thousands of years old, of immense cultural and spiritual significance to Aboriginal people, and are of local, national and international heritage value.
The UNESCO World Heritage process involves the State Government submitting a nomination to the Commonwealth Government, with extensive consultation and identification of the potential World Heritage values of the area.
The Commonwealth Government will then progress the nomination to UNESCO for consideration.
If successful, the Burrup will be one of only two World Heritage sites in Western Australia inscribed for its cultural values.
There are currently four World Heritage sites in Western Australia - Purnululu National Park, Shark Bay, the Ningaloo Coast and Fremantle Prison.
The listing would place the Burrup alongside other World Heritage listed properties such as Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and Grand Canyon National Park.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The Burrup Peninsula is of great spiritual significance, a vital part of Western Australia's cultural heritage and the site of internationally significant petroglyphs.
"World Heritage listing represents a game changing opportunity for tourism in the Pilbara and Western Australia bringing international awareness of the Burrup, its incredible rock art and Aboriginal culture.
"We expect many new jobs would be created as a result.
"Industry, the environment and indigenous culture already co-exist on the Burrup, and this will continue with the World Heritage listing.
"My Government has worked closely with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, as the rightful representative for matters of cultural significance, to progress this important announcement."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"An official World Heritage bid for the Burrup is fantastic news for everyone who has an interest in the long-term preservation of this culturally significant site.
"The rock art of the Burrup needs to be showcased to the rest of the world, and it would be fitting for these precious petroglyphs to be characterised alongside other world-famous sites such as Purnululu National Park, the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo.
"The McGowan Labor Government is establishing a Burrup Rock Art Stakeholder Reference Group, which will guide the development and implementation of a rigorous scientific monitoring program to help protect the rock art for future generations."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
"A successful World Heritage nomination will require a collaborative approach, and extensive consultation with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and the traditional owners.
"Support from the local community, industry and other stakeholders will be a key component of the nomination process.
"Through the nomination, we will work hard to reflect the unique cultural, spiritual and archaeological values of the area so the Burrup can be recognised globally."
Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
"The petroglyphs on the Burrup Peninsula are the world's oldest and densest collection of rock art, and are one of Western Australia's extraordinary experiences.
"World Heritage listing represents a huge achievement for the Pilbara, and I'm proud to be part of a government that is working to give the Burrup the national and international significance it deserves."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900