Global Stand Up for the Burrup in Newcastle Sun 23.9.2012 10:30am


imageSee you in Wickham tomorrow morning at the corner of Hannell Street and Honeysuckle Drive  for a photo then a fig morning tea.

It’s part of the campaign to save the Burrup in WA from destruction by industry. You can see more about the Burrup here

Here’s the media release I sent out – thanks to the Blue Mountains Burrup group for this:

The Background:

The Western Australian government and Woodside mining are destroying Murujuga – a Ngarda Ngarli peoples’ sacred site and the world’s oldest and largest rock art precinct.


 UNESCO World Heritage Listing for the Murujuga/Dampier Archipelago Rock Art Precinct is needed Now !

The Murujuga/Dampier Archipelago Rock Art Precinct, 1550 km north of Perth on Western Australia’s Pilbara Coast, is estimated to contain more than one million rock engravings (petroglyphs). A Ngarda Ngarli people’s sacred site, Murujuga includes pre-Ice sacred art and engravings of the fat-tailed kangaroo, extinct for 40-45,000 years, and the thylacine (‘Tasmania Tiger’), extinct on Australian mainland for 3-3,500


The problem


Were Murujuga to be located anywhere in the civilised world, it would have been nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage List decades ago. But it is in remote NW Western Australia,  where transnational mining interests dominate government regardless of political party.


Since the mid 1960’s, the Western Australian government has subsidised resource companies to turn Murujuga, especially the so-called ‘Burrup Peninsula’ into Australia’s largest heavy industry precinct.

It includes 2 LNG plants operated by WOODSIDE Energy (North West Shelf and Pluto), Australia’s second busiest port (Dampier), another port, the world’s biggest salt producing facility , an ammonia fertiliser plant, and a quarry. An explosives and a desalination plant are now proposed, and industry and the WA government have plans for back-up port on West Intercourse Island, which is pristine land and contains the second largest number of hieroglyphs after the Burrup.


Up to 25% of the irreplaceable rock art has been destroyed. Every development to date has destroyed rock art. As industry develops, vandalism and accidental damage increases. In the longer term acid rain pollution from the LNG and other plants threatens the very existence of the rock art, as the nitric and other acids eat away at the dark patina (‘desert varnish’) that makes the images visible.


Global Stand Up for the Burrup


The Global Stand Up for the Burrup campaign was launched in Perth in December 2006. Our campaign involves people Standing Up at their spiritual and/or cultural monuments wearing t-shirts or carrying placards that spell out our message – Stand Up for the Burrup!


To date, more than 270 groups have Stood Up for the Burrup in more than 45 countries and in every Australian State and mainland Territory. Supporters have held photo-shoot actions at UNESCO World Heritage sites including Stonehenge, the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza, Machu Pichu, Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, the Acropolis of Athens, the Statue Of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and Australia’s own Sydney Opera House, Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building, and the Fremantle Gaol.


We email and fax the photos and images from every action to every Australian and Western Australian politician, media representatives, corporate executives, public servants and supporters. Every Stand Up for the Burrup action is effective.


UNESCO World Heritage Listing
In May 2012, the Australian Heritage Council chaired by Prof Carmen Lawrence confirmed that the Murujuga/Dampier Archipelago Rock Art Precinct meets UNESCO’s World Heritage criteria.


Although UNESCO World Heritage Listing will not solve all the problems, it is the highest form of legal protection that can be achieved and it is vital to keep rapacious industry at bay.


Sunday 23 September 2012 – Global Day of Action


On Sunday 23 September 2012, groups throughout Australia and internationally will hold the biggest yet globally coordinated Stand Up for the Burrup series of photo shoot actions.


This action in Newcastle is one of the flagship actions for the Global Stand Up for the Burrup.

 This action is a joint initiative of members of Australia’s First Peoples communities and supporters in the wider community.



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