Today, at 11:15 am, in front of Parliament House, a group of concerned parliamentarians, staff, and rock art supporters, will make their contribution to a photographic campaign that has seen the 'Stand Up for the Burrup' message portrayed around the world.
The Stand Up for the Burrup campaign seeks to draw attention to one of the world's most significant cultural and historical precincts, and to urge its protection from an industrial development that could easily be located elsewhere. There is no oil or gas on the Burrup. There are, however, more than a million ancient rock carvings of inestimable cultural value.
The sequence of nearly 50 photographed 'Stand Up' events has already featured events in several countries, including Brazil, Belgium, USA, and Australia.
Senator Rachel Siewert, Mr Peter Andren MP, and Dr Carmen Lawrence MP, have previously sought the emergency listing of the Burrup Peninsula (in December 2006), and they are still calling for the Minister to follow the strong advice of the Australian Heritage Council.
Senator Siewert, Peter Andren, and Dr Carmen Lawrence say:
"The 'Stand Up for the Burrup' campaign is a fantastic grassroots effort aimed at lifting the profile of what many regard as Australia's most significant cultural and historical heritage site.
We encourage all Australians to join the campaign to protect the Burrup from unnecessary industrial damage. This is not a case of balancing economic and heritage considerations. Damage to the Burrup is economically unnecessary."
The Minister for Environment and Heritage has made no decision about the Burrup, despite receiving an assessment on 23 August 2006 from the Australian Heritage Council. Since then his Department has received a further specialist report noting the fact that the rock art is in danger of being irreparably damaged. The Burrup was nominated for national listing in May 2004.
The World Monuments Fund has recently listed the Burrup on the register of the world's 100 most endangered sites.