Save Our Songlines, a grassroots campaign led by Murujuga Traditional Custodians, remains vigilant in its fight to protect their sacred rock art and song lines from the ‘Burrup Hub’, which includes Woodside’s Scarborough gas project and Perdaman’s urea plant.
Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has bowed to pressure from the campaign and granted a full assessment of the impact of all industry in the Burrup Peninsula on cultural heritage, under Section 10 of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act (ATSIHPA).
Although welcome news, the Minister’s denial of a Section 9 application from the group last month, means work can commence as scheduled and the movement of the rock art will take place while the Section 10 assessment is being completed.
The following lines are attributable to Yamatji-Noongar Senator Dorinda Cox, the Greens spokesperson for resources:
“If Labor wants to meet their climate targets, they can’t allow the Burrup Hub to continue producing some of the dirtiest LNG in the world to fire the Perdaman plant.
“The North West Gas Shelf, and now Perdaman, will make their huge profits off the back of destroying First Nations’ cultural heritage while setting off a climate bomb that will cause irreversible damage to the environment.
“This Labor government can not talk about recognition, they are silencing the voices of traditional owners and ramping up another Juukan Caves. When Traditional Owners say no, governments need to listen. None of this work has ever received free, prior informed consent and this is why our grassroots organisations need to find legal assistance to make them listen.
“Murujuga National Park is due to bid for World Heritage listing in February next year, we need this fast-tracked to protect it from destruction. Murujuga contains the world’s largest collection of rock art, one of the oldest women's law grounds in the world, as well as the Seven Sisters dreaming song-line linking stories across Australia and the world.
“We cannot continue to allow projects to go ahead that wreck the climate and destroy cultural heritage. We need investment in cleaner, greener renewable energy sources now, and for this Government to stand on the right side of history and protect Australia’s First Peoples stories and sacred places."