Traditional custodians address UN on damage to priceless rock art by Woodside’s WA Scarborough gas project
Traditional custodians from Murujuga are speaking at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland this week to address concerns about their cultural heritage and sacred rock art in the face of industrial threats from Woodside’s Scarborough gas and related projects on Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula.
Raelene Cooper and Josie Alec will address the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. They are traditional custodians of Murujuga, also known as the Burrup Peninsula, the site of the oldest, largest collection of Aboriginal rock art in the world. Murujuga is nominated for UNESCO world heritage listing but it is also the site of Australia’s largest fossil fuel project, Woodside Energy’s Burrup Hub, the latest addition to which is the massive Scarborough gas project.
Murujuga is a deeply sacred place and priceless cultural treasure but the sacred songlines and stories contained in its carvings are being damaged by emissions from the Burrup Hub and face total destruction within decades.
Traditional custodians have voiced their opposition to further development on Murujuga but have been silenced by ‘gag clauses’ in industrial agreements with the WA government.
Ms Cooper and Ms Alec launched their Save Our Songlines campaign last year to share the concerns of First Nations custodians about the threat posed by the fossil fuel industry to their sacred Murujuga rock art. Murujuga elders and custodians have previously shared their cultural heritage concerns and made several emergency applications and requests