The Department of Environment and Heritage expects the Minister, Senator Campbell, to make a decision on the request by Dr Carmen Lawrence MP, Senator Rachel Siewert, and Mr Peter Andren MP for the emergency listing of the Burrup Peninsula before Christmas.
In an email from the Director, Heritage Information Section, Dr Robert Bruce wrote: "We are confident that we can have the brief to the Minister on or before Thursday next week. The ten day clock would expire on 29 December but we expect the Minister to make a decision before Christmas."
The Minister received a heritage assessment on the Burrup Peninsula from the Australian Heritage Council on 23 August 2006 but has been sitting on his hands, waiting for changes to the Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act which would have allowed him to further delay his decision.
The request for emergency listing by the three cross-party federal parliamentarians has forced the issue. It means that Minister Campbell now has the chance to give to all Australians a gift of cultural heritage whose magnitude can not be overstated.
Senator Siewert, Peter Andren, and Dr Carmen Lawrence say:
"The Minister for the Environment has an incredible opportunity here. He can make a Christmas gift to the nation's heritage that will be the greatest cultural gift of its kind on the National Register. He can give to all of us the lasting protection of a treasure that has been described by one of its original nominators as 'a place of unparalleled artistic, cultural, religious and historical significance'. We therefore urge the Minister to list the Burrup Peninsula."
The Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH) had delayed the emergency listing of the Burrup Peninsula by a week, citing confusion over the boundaries of the area sought for emergency listing.