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Barnett backflips over Burrup while Garrett stands by

The Australian Greens have criticised the Western Australian Government for dismissing the need to protect the world's largest collection of Aboriginal rock engravings on the Burrup Peninsular in the State's north-west.

"In opposition, Colin Barnett called for the relocation of future Dampier industrial development away from the Burrup rock art and rightly described the art as having world heritage value," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"However, this week, as Premier, Mr Barnett has claimed that this precious collection can co-exist with industry on its doorstep."

"Mr Barnett knows full well that the results of a recent interim air quality impact study he released this week are based on four years of monitoring and provide no confidence that damage won't occur over a longer timeframe, especially as emissions are likely to increase from the expansion of nearby industry," said Senator Siewert.

"I also ask why Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett is not doing more on this issue. One of Mr Garrett's predecessors, David Kemp, began steps to secure world heritage listing for the Burrup rock art seven years ago."

"Experts around the world cannot understand why Australia is failing to act to protect the 30,000 years of history represented in this collection."

"Surely this is a cause Mr Garrett can see merit in?" she concluded.

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