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Monday, 21 February 2011
Page: 547

Dear Mr Murphy

Thank you for your letter of 22 June 2010 to the former Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP, concerning the petition in support of world heritage listing of the Dampier Archipelago. As I am now Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, your letter has been passed to me for reply. I regret the delay in responding.

The outstanding heritage value of the rock art of the Dampier Archipelago, including Burrup Peninsula, was acknowledged through the area’s gazettal as a national heritage place on

3 July 2007. National heritage places and world heritage properties are afforded similar protection under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Under the Australian World Heritage Intergovernmental Agreement recently agreed by the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, the preparation of a world heritage nomination for the Dampier Archipelago would be the responsibility of the Western Australian Government, in consultation with the Commonwealth. A formal assessment of whether the area has outstanding universal value, including a comparative analysis with other similar types of places internationally, would need to be undertaken as part of any future world heritage nomination.

The Australian Government will continue to work cooperatively with the states and territories on world heritage matters and encourage the Western Australian government, and all other Australian jurisdictions, to consider nominating appropriate places for inclusion on the World Heritage Tentative List —the first step in a potential world heritage nomination.

Thank you for bringing the petition to my attention.

from the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Mr Tony Burke