The Wilderness Society released this statement on January 15.
The Broome community is outraged at the Minister’s decision announced today to give WA Aboriginal Heritage Act Section 18 clearance to allow Woodside to drill in the dunes west of Manari Road as part of their investigation work for an LNG processing site.
“We are gravely concerned that the Minister has provided no advice as to the reasons for his decision and for the future protection of Aboriginal Heritage sites in the area. The Broome Community no gas Campaign will be calling on Tony Burke the federal minister responsible for the Environment and Aboriginal Heritage to intervene” said spokesperson Nik Wevers.
In 1991 the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee concluded that no exploration should occur in this area.
The sand dunes and rare Monsoon Vine Thickets have been recommended for protection by the WA Environmental Protection Authority twice in the past twenty years because of their environmental significance and their cultural heritage values.
The WA Museum also recommended they be protected in 1989 because of their outstanding archaeological and cultural significance.
“Why do we have to find out about Woodside getting permission to destroy our law and culture on the radio? Goolarabooloo evidence in 1991 from the old people is clear. The ACMC accepted it then. It has been ignored by the Minister now. They are trying to rewrite history” said Goolarabooloo Law Boss Phillip Roe.
The campaign will hold a candlelight vigil this afternoon outside the Woodside office in Broome in support of the Goolarabooloo people’s preservation of their country, law and culture.