Protest at WA Art Gallery Over Murujuga Rock Art, Woodside Claims

Save our Songlines

Good morning,

In response to a protest at the Art Gallery of WA yesterday relating to industrial impacts on sacred Murujuga rock art and claims from Woodside in response, please see below the following statements:

Raelene Cooper, Mardudhunera woman and former Chair of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation:

“I saw the protest at the art gallery yesterday on the news and I thought it was very courageous. Some people were asking why can’t they leave the art alone. That’s exactly how we feel about what Woodside is doing to our rock art, and our sacred songlines and the plants and animals on the Burrup. The toxic emissions must be sending them a bit crazy or blind if they can’t see the damage the Burrup Hub is doing to our art, our culture and our environment. The animals and plants on the Burrup are dying and the rock art is disappearing before our eyes. How can there be so much fuss about some temporary spray paint on a single piece of art from 100 years ago when Woodside are spraying their emissions all around the oldest, largest art gallery on planet earth? Murujuga holds the stories and songlines of our people going back more than 50,000 years. Woodside need to stop destroying our art.”

Professor Benjamin Smith, Chair of World Rock Art at UWA and author of recent research showing direct damage to Murujuga rock art from emissions at the Burrup Hub:

“The statement by Woodside that no peer-reviewed research has shown that emissions from LNG production is damaging Murujuga rock art is willfully misleading. This is akin to a major carbon emitter claiming that no-one has linked their specific carbon emissions to global warming. That would be absurd, and so is Woodside’s claim. It has been shown without any doubt that nitrogen oxide pollution, combined with local rain and dew, is causing serious damage to Murujuga rock art. Woodside is the largest nitrogen oxide emitter by far at Murujuga. We don’t need to fingerprint the source to know that Woodside’s nitrogen oxide and other forms of acidic pollution are damaging the rock art and that these emissions are a serious problem that needs urgent intervention.”

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