Senator Rachel Siewert, today called on the Government to ensure that the priceless cultural heritage of the Burrup peninsula was protected.
"We understand the WA EPA has given the go ahead for preparatory work on the Pluto Area B site on the Burrup, and that this work could start at anytime. We are very concerned that this may affect the cultural values of the area" said Senator Siewert.
"The Wong-Goo-Tt-Oo native title group have applied to have this area declared a Significant Aboriginal Area. Today in the Senate the Government was unable to tell me when the assessment of the application would be completed. Nor would they say if the area would be protected while the assessment process was underway".
"When does the Minister intend to make a decision relating to the application?" asked Senator Siewert in the Senate. "Will the area be protected while the Minister is making a decision?"
Neither of these questions were answered.
It is essential that none of the cultural values of the area are disturbed or affected by any preparatory activity" said Senator Siewert.
"If Malcolm Turnbull fails to guarantee the protection of this area while he is taking his time to make a decision, then he is in effect responsible for the fate of a significant number of unique works of Aboriginal rock art."