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Australia Launches Industry Review Near Ancient Rock Art

The Australian government has launched an industry review on Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula, a major gas export hub, after concerns were raised by indigenous women about damage to ancient rock art.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek agreed to appoint an investigator to assess the full impact on ancient rock art from industry on the Burrup Peninsula, in response to an application by two Indigenous women representing a group called Save Our Songlines.

“The consultant will take as much time as necessary to prepare the report. There is no legal deadline,” a Plibersek spokesman said in emailed comments.

Once the review is done, the investigator must make a recommendation to the minister on whether to order new native heritage protection on the Burrup Peninsula, home to more than a million ancient rock carvings which have been nominated for a World Heritage List. UNESCO.

The sites lie near an industrial zone where there are two liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants run by Woodside Energy Group and fertilizer and explosives plants run by Norway’s Yara International.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to consider all impacts of any Burrup industry on our sacred rock art sites and provide permanent protection under federal laws,” said Indigenous woman Raelene Cooper, who applied for review under Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Law on Heritage Protection.

Plibersek last month rejected a request from the same group seeking to block the construction of a A$4.5 billion ($3.0 billion) fertilizer plant after consulting with the local representative group for traditional owners, the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, about the impact of its potential in ancient rock art.

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