Joint statement – World Heritage Tentative listing celebrated on-country

Traditional owners leading the Murujuga Cultural Landscape World Heritage nomination process are today celebrating the Tentative Listing of the world’s largest concentration of rock with a special on-country ceremony at Murujuga National Park. 

The celebration will coincide with the official opening of the Ngajarli Trail, which will further bolster the growing tourism opportunities for the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC).

The Murujuga Cultural Landscape with its 45,000-year-old petroglyphs, was added to Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre after being nominated by the Federal Government earlier this year. 

Tentative listing is the first step to World Heritage nomination process, with sites needing to spend at least 12 months on the Tentative list before being further considered.

Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley who toured the site before putting forward its nomination, congratulated the Traditional Owners leading the Murujuga Cultural Landscape World Heritage for their advocacy and acknowledged the support they had received from the WA Government.

“The recognition of sites such as this is an important statement about the importance of indigenous heritage alongside World Heritage properties such as Stone Henge, The Great Wall of China and Grand Canyon National Park,” Minister Ley said.

“The ongoing direction of the Traditional Owners in preparing the formal nomination dossier is underway and will play an important role in the final determination.

“We look forward to working with the WA Government and the MAC to see Murujuga achieve full World Heritage status.”

State Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, who attended the on-country celebrations today, said the submission highlighted collaborative effort between government, traditional owners and community.

“It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate the addition of this unique area to the Tentative List in-person with traditional owners, at the newly completed Ngajarli Trail,” Minister Dawson said. 

“The World Heritage listing of Murujuga Cultural Landscape will highlight the cultural significance of the region, which is renowned for its vast collection of rock art.

“This event, along with the new Ngajarli Trail opening, will ensure visitors to the region understand how important this area is to Aboriginal people, and to Australia’s cultural heritage.

“The McGowan Government will continue working in partnership with MAC, and with the support of the Commonwealth Government and stakeholders to progress the World Heritage nomination.”

MAC Chief Executive Officer Peter Jeffries said the Tentative Listing was a significant step in the journey towards achieving World Heritage Listing.

“This is the result of a successful and meaningful collaboration between MAC and both the Western Australian and Federal Governments,” he said.

“Thank you for everyone’s hard work to date. There is a lot of hard work still to be done, however the nomination continues to make significant progress and the long-term benefits and outcomes when we achieve this will be etched in history forever – just like the rock art surrounding us today.”

“The huge effort by Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and Government to make the vision a reality has certainly been recognised through our community and Australia.

“Ngayintharri Gumawarni Ngurrangga. We all come together for country.”

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