The monitoring of one of the most significant collections of rock art in the world remains on track, with the appointment of Calibre Ventures Pty Ltd to oversee the development and implementation of the Murujuga Rock Art Monitoring Program.
Calibre will partner with technical experts from Curtin University, Art Care and ChemCentre to deliver a world-leading scientifically rigorous approach to monitoring, analysis and managing the rock art.
These organisations were involved under the previous contract and are well positioned to ensure a smooth transition under the new arrangement.
The State Government continues to work in partnership with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) to oversee the monitoring program and engage with key stakeholders on the path toward achieving UNESCO World Heritage List status for Murujuga National Park.
The change in contractors will not affect the progress of MAC’s application for the World Heritage List or the timeframe for commencement of monitoring studies.
The partnership with Calibre supports the role of MAC in guiding the cultural aspects of the monitoring work and engagement with traditional owners and custodians.
MAC rangers will work alongside the Art Care and Curtin teams and receive training to help MAC achieve its goal of taking responsibility for the monitoring program in the long term.
Murujuga is the traditional Aboriginal name for the Burrup Peninsula, Dampier Archipelago and its surrounds, and is home to one of the largest and most diverse collections of Aboriginal rock art, or petroglyphs, in the world. The petroglyphs are of immense cultural significance and historical value.
Murujuga also hosts export industries critical to the Western Australian and national economies. The monitoring program builds on work over the past 15 years to determine whether the Murujuga rock art is being subject to accelerated change from the impacts of industry and shipping emissions.
The majority of funding for the monitoring program is being provided by industry. The State Government acknowledges the significant contribution made by Woodside, Rio Tinto and Yara Pilbara in their ongoing commitment to the program.
The State Government has committed funding for a panel of independent peer reviewers of national and international reputation to review elements of the monitoring program and provide assurance that the best scientific information is made available to guide management actions.
The monitoring program is part of a suite of measures by the McGowan Government for the Murujuga National Park, including the $1.3 million Ngajarli Trail and $1 million per year for the joint management and protection of the park and the Dampier Archipelago.
The State Government has also committed a further $15 million toward national park access road improvements and additional visitor facilities at Conzinc Bay to complement MAC’s planned Living Knowledge Centre and tourism precinct.
As stated by Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
“The McGowan Government is committed to the Murujuga rock art monitoring program and ensuring it is completed to the highest standards.
“I am proud that WA is home to the oldest living culture in the world. I am also acutely aware of our shared responsibility to safeguard and protect it.
“The monitoring program will be guided and informed by the cultural law, knowledge and practices of the Circle of Elders, traditional owners and custodians of Murujuga and as part of the program, Murujuga rangers will be trained by leading experts to monitor the rock art in the field.
“This globally unique monitoring program will support the rock art’s co-existence with export industries on the Burrup Peninsula, which are critical to the State and national economy.”
As stated by Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation CEO Peter Jeffries:
“Our rock art represents an irreplaceable link to Aboriginal culture, history and stories dating back thousands of years and we recognise the need for thorough and wide-ranging scientific analysis of the impact of industry on the rock art to ensure it survives for future generations.
“MAC’s priority is to protect Murujuga’s ancient rock art, heritage and culture, and MAC supports necessary actions to ensure that the program delivers this.
“A change in contractors delivering the Murujuga Rock Art Monitoring Program will in no way affect the progress of MAC’s application for World Heritage List of Murujuga National Park.
“MAC has been satisfied with the quality of the science in developing the conceptual model and monitoring studies plan – we now look forward to executing the plan.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“It gives me immense pride to know that my electorate is home to one of the world’s most significant and important rock art collections in the world and the McGowan Government is committed to its ongoing protection.”