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The Burrup - a World Monuments too precious to lose

Estimates & Committees
Scott Ludlam 7 Feb 2013

Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications
Legislation Committee
Answers to questions on notice
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio
Supplementary Budget Estimates, October 2012
Program: Division or Agency: 5.1: HWD Question
No:
141
Topic: World Monuments
Proof Hansard Page and Date
or Written Question:
Written
Senator Ludlam asked:
1. What's the Minister or Department's response to the fact that the Burrup has been included three times on the World Monuments Fund's list of 100 most Endangered Sites and has attracted much international anxiety over the years about its shocking neglect?
2. There are seven areas of land on the Burrup still zoned for potential industrial development.
3. What action is or will the Department undertake to makes sure any further approvals are rigorously scrutinised to ensure that no further damage is done to rock art?
4. How can it be that industries which only last 20-25 years are allowed to do such irreparable harm to ancient, possibly as long as 30,000 year old record of human development, potentially the oldest on the planet?
5. Is the Minister aware that the WA government is currently considering the building of a sealed road up to the northern part of the Burrup, through National Heritage protected land rich in rock art?

Answer:
1. The Dampier Archipelago (including Burrup Peninsula) was protected in 2007 by the inclusion of the place in the National Heritage List under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).
2. Refer to the answer to question 1.
3. All referrals under the EPBC Act relating to any matter of national environmental significance, including national heritage values are subject to rigorous assessment.
4. Refer to the answers to questions 1 and 3.
5. The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (the department) has not received a referral for this project from the Western Australian Government. If the Western Australian Government proposes an action that has, will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on the National Heritage Values of the Dampier Archipelago (including Burrup Peninsula) the Western Australian Government, as the proponent, would be required to refer the project to the Minister under the EPBC Act for assessment and decision.

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