Support intensifies for the Burrup: The Government must act now

August 24, 2002 - The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has joined a growing number of international bodies, community groups and politicans in calling on the State Government to commit to the long-term protection of the Burrup Peninsula.

Following this weeks' announcement from the National Trust that it had named the Burrup Peninsula on its Threatened Places list, ICOMOS has written to WA Premier, Dr Geoff Gallop, emphasising the importance of the rock carvings in the area and indicating the area was considered to be of World Heritage status.

Greens (WA) MLC, Robin Chapple said that he welcomed the support of ICOMOS in preventing further industrial development at the site, particularly given its status as a world-recognised authority on the conservation of historic monuments and sites as well as a principal advisor to UNESCO.

In its letter to Dr Gallop, ICOMOS said that the density of motifs at the site was among the greatest in the world. “ is not only quantity but quality that is represented. For example, there are many figures of thylacines (Tasmanian tigers), thought to be extinct on the mainland for 3000 years. These are the only known thylacines engraved in Australia.'

Mr Chapple said that with Opposition Leader, Colin Barnett coming out yesterday in support of shifting some of the proposed projects to the Maitland site, the Gallop Government must take heed of growing international pressure and place industry on the Maitland site which was initially designed for that purpose.

“The world's largest petroglyph site must be protected at all costs. It is unbelievable that ICOMOS visited the Burrup back in 1981 and were assured that the area would be set aside for cultural tourism yet this area is now on the agenda as an industrial development.'

“I am concerned that the reputation of many of the companies being forced to go to the Burrup may be tarnished on the international area because of the failure of the government to address the global heritage values of the area,' Mr Chapple concluded.

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