Community speaks out on the will the Government listen?

June 10, 2002 - More than 600 people rallied on Hearsons Cove Beach on the Burrup Peninsula yesterday, sending a firm message to the Government that no further industrial expansion would be tolerated on the Burrup.

Residents and visitors heard from the Shire Council, the Greens (WA), Senator Alan Eggleston, One Nation, and many others, who all clearly stated their opposition to the Government's plans to turn the world's largest outdoor rock art gallery into an industrial estate. Addresses from the local member Fred Riebling MLA and Minister for State Development Clive Brown MLA failed to convince the crowd that destroying the heritage, ecological and recreational values of the Burrup was in anybody's interests.

'Everyone is very pleased with the turnout,' Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple said this morning. “It shows that the local people care about how their backyard is treated, and there was an overwhelming sense that the Government's consultation process has bypassed them completely.'

“But I fear the Government plans to plough on regardless and ignore the concerns of the community. My reading of the Minister's statements this morning tells me that the Government didn't hear the depth of concern expressed by the people of Roebourne.'

“Instead of moving rapidly to establish the Maitland Industrial Estate, against all good sense it looks as though they are going to try and steamroll the developments through on the Burrup. This becomes an extremely risky strategy for the Government, who risk losing everything if their Burrup intentions are defeated and they have not developed any contingency plans.'

Mr Chapple repeated that the Government could defuse the situation at any time by announcing that the nearby Maitland Estate would be made ready in time for proponents to meet their deadlines.

“All Western Australians want meaningful employment and a high quality of life, but we won't be walked over by Governments or anyone else in order to get them,' Mr Chapple concluded. “The Community has spoken. It is now up to the Government to show that they can listen.'

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