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Australian Democrats to use new heritage legislation to protect the Burrup Peninsula.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett Leader of the Australian Democrats Spokesperson on Environment

October 1, 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/693

Australian Democrats to use new heritage legislation to protect the Burrup Peninsula

Australian Democrats Leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said the Party would move to protect Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula rock art after it was listed as one of the World Monuments Fund’s 100 Most Endangered Sites.

Senator Bartlett said the Western Australian Government should be ashamed at the listing on the world endangered sites file.

The Democrats will use new Federal heritage legislation, due to commence early next year, to ensure the indigenous heritage values of the Peninsula are appropriately protected.

“The Burrup Peninsula is a place of national and international heritage significance, yet up to 25 per cent of the rock carvings have been lost due to inappropriate developments,” Senator Bartlett said.

“ Now there are plans to intensify development on the Peninsula that will further threaten the Indigenous heritage values of the area. Allowing such an important site to be trashed is a national disgrace.

“It is bewildering that the Federal and Western Australian governments are willing to offer vast sums of money to developers to attract them to the Pilbara region, yet are unwilling to take appropriate steps to ensure the remarkable heritage values of the Burrup Peninsula are appropriately protected.”

The Australian Democrats were instrumental in passing new heritage legislation in the Federal Parliament last month.

The legislation establishes two new heritage lists: the National Heritage List and the Commonwealth Heritage List. Any development that are likely to have a significant impact on the heritage values of a place that is included on either of these lists will require approval from the Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage.

The Democrats will seek to include the Burrup Peninsula on the National Heritage List as a matter of urgency.

For interview with Senator Bartlett, please call Katrina Beikoff on 0419 867 649