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Burrup negotiations set the way forward for heritage protection in Australia.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Ian Campbell Minister for the Environment and Heritage

C010/07 25 January 2007


Management arrangements that will protect the Burrup Peninsula while allowing sensible development are nearing their final stages, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said today.

“Paving the way to protect the Burrup Peninsula and its rich collection of rock art has been a challenging task but one which demonstrates that development does not have to come at a cost of the environment and vice versa,” Senator Campbell said.

“As a result of discussions led by the Australian Government both the Western Australian Government and key industry groups now recognise the national heritage significance of the Burrup Peninsula and its extraordinary collection of rock art and stone arrangements, and we have been working very cooperatively together to put in place arrangements which are satisfactory to all.

“National Heritage Listing does not come at the expense of Australia’s economic prosperity, the two can co-exist to the advantage of all Australians,” Senator Campbell said.

The Australian Heritage Council completed its assessment of three nominations for the Dampier Archipelago (including the Burrup Peninsula) to the National Heritage List late last year. The Council found that the Dampier Archipelago contains national heritage values against five of the National Heritage List criteria. There are believed to be up to one million pieces of rock art in the Dampier Archipelago, including in the Burrup area.

The Burrup area is also home to a multi-billion gas industry. Australia's recently concluded LNG deal with China was worth $25b, saving some 7Mt of greenhouse gases.

“The Australian Government will continue to work closely with the state government and other stakeholders to finalise the outcome which balances the heritage significance of the area with the needs of industry.

“In October last year Woodside Energy announced that it will fund a three-year postgraduate scholarship through the University of New England to study the rock art of the Dampier Archipelago, which will help protect it for future generations of Australians.

“The Australian Government has spent much of the past 12 months working towards an outcome that will deliver a win for the environment, a win for Australia’s resources sector and a win for Indigenous heritage. I am pleased this objective will soon be realised.”

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