Peter and partner Valerie cut the cake at a supporters bbq

Local orchardists protest against importation of NZ apples infected with fireblight

Ancient Heritage at the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia

Up to one million of these ancient rock carvings date back as far as the last ice age...

  • The Burrup Peninsula, traditionally called Murujuga, on the north western coast of Western Australia, and sacred to the Yaburara clan, contains one of the world's largest and most important concentrations of prehistoric rock art (petroglyphs).
  • Murujuga consists of up to one million of these ancient rock carvings recording up to 30,000 years of continuous use and occupation by Australia’s very first people. The diversity of images is said to be unmatched anywhere in the world with the oldest possibly dating back to the last ice age. The collection of standing stones may be the largest known. Ancient campsites and artefacts cover the whole area.
  • Older than the Egyptian pyramids by up to tens of thousands of years, this place of incredible national and world heritage values has already lost an estimated 20% of the stones through removal, destruction or pollution from emissions of the industrial estate that has been allowed to develop on the peninsula.
  • Despite this, the Australian Government and Western Australian Government still allow industrial development in the Rock Art Precinct to continue. This has resulted in the physical removal and destruction of hundreds of cultural features and thousands of individual petroglyphs.
  • Nomination of the Dampier Rock Art Precinct to Australia’s National Heritage List was made in 2004, with the government’s own Heritage Council unequivocally advising the Precinct should be listed. However some three years after nomination, the Minister continues to defer making a decision.
  • In December 2006 Peter, with Greens Senator Rachel Siewart and Labor MP Carmen Lawrence, made application for emergency listing of the Precinct to the National Heritage List. This was in response to imminent removal and destruction of petroglyphs with the development of Woodside Energy’s Pluto gas processing plant on the Burrup Peninsula.
  • That application was strenuously opposed by industry and by the Western Australian government, and the application was refused by the federal Minister. Removal of petroglyphs and destruction of the site is now occurring.
  • The Dampier Rock Art Precinct has remained on the World Monuments Fund’s list of 100 Most Threatened Monuments in the world since 2003. The Precinct is listed as one of the ten most threatened sacred sites in the world by the International Sacred Sites Trust. The traditional Aboriginal custodians of the area oppose and condemn any further development of the Burrup Peninsula, and nearly 25,000 Australians have signed a petition calling for protection of the area.

And all because of the refusal to insist further industrial development relocate nearby.

Peter continues to raise this issue where possible, and has alerted other politicians, community leaders and groups, and international forums. But the Burrup needs your help.

'Climbing Men' photo by R Bednarik - with permission of traditional custodians Wong-Goo-Tt-Oo


Alert your friends, family and colleagues by sending information to as many contacts you can, both in Australia and internationally.

Learn More by clicking on the links in the right hand column

Read Peter’s parliamentary speeches on the Environment & Heritage Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2006 and on the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Amendment Bill 2005

Check if your financial institutions (including your Super’ fund) invest in Woodside & alert them to this issue.

Contact the following:

  • Premier of Western Australia, Mr Alan Carpenter:
    197 St George’s Terrace, PERTH WA 6000
    Fax: +61 (8) 9322 1213
  • Federal Minister for Environment & Water Resources, Mr Malcolm Turnbull:
    PO Box 6022, Parliament House, CANBERRA ACT 2600
    Fax: +61 (2) 6273 6101
  • Your own Federal Members and Senators – see “Who’s who” at
  • CEO of Woodside Energy, Don Voelte:
    240 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000
    T: +61 (8) 9348 4000
    F: +61 (8) 9214 2777   or
  • Los Angeles office: Woodside Natural Gas Inc(USA)
    1901 Avenue of the Stars, Level 2, Century City, LA CALIFORNIA 90067 USA
    F: 0011 (1) 310 461 1304
  • Newspapers and media, keep it short and simple. Try the West Australian at