The Burrup peninsula in Australia is home to one of the world’s largest collections of ancient art – some 300,000 stone etchings dating back over 10,000 years. The unrivalled collection of ancient aboriginal art is being threatened by industrial development.
A recently built fertilizer factory and port facility were the first developments, but plans are on the table for a liquefied petroleum gas terminal and explosives factory. Already, more than 25% of the engravings and images have been destroyed.
A campaign has been launched to have the Burrup peninsula declared a World Heritage Site. Such a declaration would at the very least slow down development plans and allow for a consultation process that could search for creative solutions that would take into account the invaluable contribution of this collection of rock art to world history and culture. Friends of Australian Rock Art have been coordinating protests and a worldwide campaign (Stand Up for the Burrup) to draw attention to the tragedy that would occur should the area be destroyed.