Questioning by the Australian Greens during Senate Estimates has revealed that three areas within a national heritage zone on WA’s Burrup Peninsular have been affected by blasting and bulldozing.
Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert said concerns about damage to the area had first been raised with Federal Heritage Minister Peter Garrett last year.
“The answers given to me by officials from his department yesterday have revealed the damage is extensive and not just in one area,” Senator Siewert said.
“One of the three sites we heard about yesterday appears to extend over several kilometres.
“The damage has occurred in an area protected in 2007 for the national heritage value of its Indigenous rock etchings, dating back thousands of years.
“Heritage Minister Peter Garrett assured us in 2008 that the Burrup would not be affected by industry in the region.”
The WA Department of Indigenous Affairs has indicated it is investigating multinational cement company Cemex, which has a quarry in the area, over the incident.
"Given the WA Government is taking appropriate action to prosecute this breach, Mr Garrett must review this issue thoroughly and ensure any breaches are prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Senator Siewert said.
“The Federal Government must not neglect its role in protecting our national heritage.”
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