Aboriginal rock art found on Western Australia's Burrup Peninsula is in danger of destruction. Friends of Australian Rock Art (FARA) released photographs showing the full extent of damage for the first time on October 25.
The photographs show the destruction associated with Woodside Petroleum's building of the massive Pluto LNG facility.
The recently deposed WA Labor government approved the removal 941 rock art engravings, some dating back to before the last Ice Age, from the company's Pluto A and B leases.
Responding to the images, FARA quoted archaeologist professor Sylvia Hallam saying: "the Pluto project represents devastation on an unprecedented scale in one of the densest areas of rock art on the entire Peninsula; it should never have happened, and it must never happen again."
Sections of the Burrup Peninsula (the world's oldest and largest rock art gallery) were listed as national heritage in 2007. However, FARA believes the recent election of Liberal Premier Colin Barnett means the area's unique cultural values are threatened by further rock art clearance proposals by several companies, despite Barnett being an "avowed Burrup advocate", the FARA statement said.
FARA said that the concrete company BCG has approval for the removal of prehistoric rock engravings impeding the expansion of its quarrying operations. Woodside CEO Don Voelte has publicly stated the company may need to clear additional rock arts.
FARA is demanding the WA government immediately nominate the Burrup Peninsula for World Heritage listing, halt further rock art clearance by Woodside, BCG, Burrup Fertilisers, Methanex and other companies and establish what it calls "a credible management plan" protecting the Burrup's global cultural and scientific values for humanity.
[For more information visit http://Stand Up for the Burrup.]