Protesters took a letter to federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek on October 21, demanding she intervene to save the Murujuga rock art from being destroyed by the Perdaman fertiliser plant in the Burrup Peninsula in a World Heritage-listed area in Western Australia.
The Murujuga rock art is one of the oldest Indigenous rock art in the world.
The WA Labor government and the federal government have colluded to allow Perdaman to build a $4.5 billion fertiliser plant, powered by gas from Woodside's nearby Scarborough gas field. Some $225 million of taxpayers’ money has been given in subsidies.
Rally organiser Coral Wynter told protesters the action had been called at the request of Kuruma Marthudhunera Custodian Josie Alec, and read out a statement from her.
“We are joining together to stop new industry on the Burrup from damaging Aboriginal Songlines, the rock art, our health and our climate. We oppose Woodside’s Scarborough gas/Pluto Train 2 development and Perdaman’s proposed urea plant.”
Climate campaigner Jim McIlroy spoke about how the struggles of Traditional Custodians at the Burrup, Beetaloo in the Northern Territory, the Pilliga in northern NSW, and Adani in central Queensland was part of the fight for urgent action on climate change.
Alessandro Moliterno from 350.org said the rock art and country needed to be protected.
The Sybil Disobedience dancers circled the protest and called for immediate government action to protect the Murujuga rock art site.
Along with another activist Wynter presented Plibersek’s staff with a letter calling on her and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to reverse the August decision to allow the Perdaman fertiliser project to go ahead.
“We are supporting the call by Aboriginal Custodians of the area to overturn the decision and halt all industrial development in this region of priceless Indigenous cultural and environmental heritage,” the letter said.
[For more information see saveoursonglines.org.]