Background briefing on Rock Art of the Dampier Archipelago
by Friends of Australian Rock Art (FARA)

Concerned citizens formed the Friends of Australia Rock Art (FARA) in 2005 to raise
awareness of the Dampier Archipelago's unique heritage, and to campaign for its protection,
particularly the area now known as the Burrup Peninsula. Originally an island, this area
became the Dampier Peninsula when Hamersley Iron constructed a causeway from the mainland in the 1960's.
The name was changed to Burrup Peninsula in the 1970's to avoid confusion with the Kimberley Dampier Peninsula.
The Aboriginal name for the area is Murujuga and the original inhabitants, the Yaburara,
were eliminated through smallpox and violent attack during the 'Flying Foam Massacre' in the 1860's.

FARA is a voluntary organisation concerned with the preservation of rock art,
particularly on the Dampier Archipelago because of its world heritage significance
and the threat to its preservation posed by ongoing industrial development on the
Burrup Peninsula and adjacent islands. The area contains the world's longest sequence
and largest concentration of petroglyphs dating back around 30,000 years. The petroglyphs
track the changes in human lifestyle from before the last ice age to the present time.
The site contains the oldest known depiction of the human face as well as images of the
Tasmanian tiger and fat tailed kangaroo which have both been extinct on the mainland for
thousands of years. It has enormous cultural and heritage value for humankind.

FARA's goal is preservation of the rock art through education and facilitation.
FARA has been pursuing that goal by meeting with a broad range of players from government,
industry and the community who have influence and/or responsibility for aspects of the Burrup.
A list of key activities in 2011 is included at the end of this paper.

Each year FARA organises a tour to the Burrup Peninsula to give people an opportunity
to see the rock art and learn first-hand from expert guides about the unique history
that is evident on the Burrup. A group of approximately 50 people participate and there
is an ongoing waiting list for the tour. Many of these people become devoted members of FARA.

Industrial development on the Burrup

Industrial development commenced in the 1960's with Hamersley Iron's pursuit of iron
ore and the development of the first port facility in King Bay, supported by the workers'
town of Dampier. Dampier Salt was developed in the late 1960's and a second ship-loading
facility was developed in the early 1970's at East Intercourse Island. (Attachment A offers a
visual representation of the waves of industrial development across the Burrup.)

The North West Shelf joint venture project commenced at the end of the 1970's. The venture partners
(BHP Billiton Petroleum, BP Developments Australia, Chevron Australia, Japan Australia LNG, Shell
Developments Australia and Woodside Energy) developed a liquefied natural oil and gas plant at
Withnell Bay to process offshore gas deposits. The project is managed by Woodside Energy.
Piping stretching 1600kms to Perth was installed to supply natural gas to the city
(11km of it across the Burrup Peninsula).

In 1996 the Western Australian state government released the Burrup Land Use and Management Strategy,
which designated some areas for conservation, heritage and recreation and other areas for industrial use.
The proposed new industrial areas were labelled A, B, C, D and E (see Attachment B). The area designated
industrial comprised 39 km2, with approximately 13.2 km2 already developed by 2006. These industries
included the northwest gas joint venture, development of the Pluto offshore LNG plant by Woodside Energy
and the ammonia and urea fertiliser plant by Burrup Fertilisers. The fertiliser plant was placed in the
middle of area D, which is a low region filled largely with sand and between major sections of extremely
important rock art including Deep Gorge.

In 2003 the Burrup and Maitland Industrial Estates Agreement (BMIEA) was signed between the
State Government of Western Australia and three Aboriginal Groups: the Ngarluma Yindjibarndi,
Yaburara Mardudhunera and Won-goo-tt-oo peoples. Unfortunately, none of these Aboriginal Groups
had direct connection with the Burrup and its rock art and this is one of the factors that has
made implementation of the agreement difficult.

The BMIEA Agreement also included development of a management plan for joint operation of the
conservation area by the State Government and Aboriginal Groups through the Murujuga Aboriginal
Corporation. A preliminary plan was drafted by the WA Department of Environment and Conservation
in 2006, but it was never agreed by stakeholders and was not enacted. In 2012 discussions recommenced
between MAC and the Department of Environment and Conservation. Those discussions continue and we are
hopeful that the momentum will see the process through to completion. FARA regards the implementation
of a management plan, including the construction and staffing of an interpretative centre as its highest priority.
A functional management plan is needed for World Heritage Listing.

In 2007 Hon Malcolm Turnbull, then Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water Resources,
included specific areas of the Burrup Peninsula and islands within the Dampier Archipelago on the
National Heritage List under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
(Attachment C indicates the NHL areas.)

Choosing not to develop

In 2006 Apache Energy Ltd chose not to develop its LNG processing plant on the Burrup in recognition
of the area's cultural heritage value. Sadly, in 2012, Apache purchased a percentage of Burrup Holdings
to join with Yara International to establish an ammonium nitrate plant at Site D.
For its Pilbara LNG plant, BHP undertook an extensive Site Selection Study based on best-practice
consultation, and determined it would not develop on the Burrup given its environmental and cultural sensitivity.

BHP Billiton stated in their site selection study for their Pilbara LNG project :

Indigenous heritage values in the form of the rock art on the Burrup Peninsula were
considered a major issue, and hence also the 'world heritage status' that might be
declared over the Burrup Peninsula. Consequently major disadvantage rating was given
for these sites, with West Intercourse Island also rating major disadvantage for the
operation stage. The latter is due to the recent recognition that there is significant
rock art on West Intercourse Island, which to date has been relatively less disturbed
than the other sites.

Premier Colin Barnett's view

In a speech to Parliament in March 2006, Hansard records 'Mr C.J. Barnett (Cottesloe)',
….I think that we as a Parliament need to recognise the importance of the rock art on the
Burrup Peninsula. That is significant in itself. This Parliament needs to understand just
what we have in Western Australia and how important it is. The rest of the world is recognising
its importance, yet we in Western Australia are not; we are failing. Related to that, this Parliament
in particular needs to accept responsibility for the current and the future protection of the rock art
and all that entails. I do not pretend to have all the answers; I have very few answers. The important
thing is that we recognise its importance and accept responsibility as a Parliament.
On ABC720 morning radio on 22 December 2006 Colin Barnett said,
Sadly, it appears to me that neither a Federal Liberal Government nor State Labor Government is
prepared to make the decision to protect this rock art. It's not rocket science, there are a
number of commonsense things that should be done to make sure that we accept our responsibility,
a world responsibility, and that's to protect the most unique and largest collection of rock art in the world.
As Premier these views have not been followed through.

Latest proposals presenting significant threat

- Ammonium Nitrate Plants
Site C in Industrial Area D
Dampier Nitrogen Pty Ltd prepared a Public Environmental Review (PER) in December
2010 to develop an Ammonium Nitrate (AN) Production Facility at Site C within the
Industrial Area D. This facility intends to produce AN for the local (i.e. Pilbara) market.
The parent company of Dampier Nitrogen Pty Ltd is Incitec Pivot Ltd.

FARA's Submission in February 2011 stated our belief that the Ammonia Nitrate Project
proposed by Dampier Nitrogen Pty Ltd threatens the unique cultural and human heritage
that exists on the Dampier Archipelago.

FARA submitted that the proponents:

" Do not offer appropriate acknowledgement of the significance of the area on which
the facility is to be sited and, as a result, do not provide evidence of appropriate
safeguards to protect the site itself, the National Heritage listed areas adjacent to
the proposed site or the rock art that is spread throughout the entire area. In this
the proponents fail to uphold the Precautionary Principle and the Principle of Intergenerational
Equity that underpin the Western Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986.

" Make an assumption of Ministerial consent for this proposal under Section 18 of the
Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, whereas our reading of the PER and correspondence with
DIA suggests that a new application will be required.

" Do not offer convincing scientific justification for emissions from the plant not
having long-term effects on the rock art (see attached submission by John Black)

" Fail to give sufficient attention to matters of visual impact, potential for explosion,
conservation of flora, building on tidal flats and security. Attachments D and E show the
proposed location of the plant and Attachment F its likely visual structure.

FARA recommended that if the proposed development is to go ahead, it be relocated to the
Maitland Industrial Estate. At our meeting with Gail McGowan, Deputy Director General,
and senior staffer Tim Fraser of the Department of State Development, FARA queried why the
state did not encourage the use of the Maitland Industrial Estate rather than sites on the
Burrup. Their response was that the problem seems to be the severe limitations on port access,
brought about by the National Heritage Listing of West Intercourse Island.

Site D Burrup Nitrates PL sought approval to develop a Technical Ammonium Nitrate Production
Facility (TANPF) at Site D within Area D. FARA made submission to the PER process in
April 2010. Subsequently Burrup Fertilisers went into receivership. Despite this, on
January 10, 2011, the EPA recommended that the Minister give his approval for the proposal
to be further developed.

Yara International, as the major shareholder of Burrup Nitrates Pty Ltd, indicated
its intention to pursue this proposal. This year Yara signed off on the development
of the facility by creating Yara Pilbara with their 45% holding and those of partners
Orica Ltd (45% holding) and Apache Energy (10%).

FARA met with senior executives of Yara International early in 2012 to express its concerns.
Yara were at pains to explain their responsible approach to development. However, the track
record of both Orica and Apache are disastrous. On 3 June 2008, Apache Energy's primary gas
pipeline at Varanus Island ruptured, causing an explosion that led to energy shortages across WA.
Orica's chemical plant at Newcastle in NSW experienced so many problems it was shut down by the
NSW Environmental Protection Authority for "unacceptable" performance.

National and International attention

" The region was identified as potential World Heritage in Australia's Wilderness Heritage:
World Heritage Areas, Kevin Weldon, reprinted 1989, 1992. Figgis, Penelope and Mosley, J.G., 1988.

" On the 12 July 1994, The Hon. Robert Tickner, MP received a request for Nomination of the Burrup to
World Heritage status from the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations.

" The Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage, Ian Viner, sought comment from the State government
on a World Heritage Nomination in March 2003. He indicated that he would be happy to discuss the opportunity
of including the rock engravings of the Burrup in such a World Heritage Nomination.

" The National Trust of Australia called for both the Federal and State Governments to
nominate the Dampier Rock Art Precinct as Australia's first World Heritage Landscape on Wednesday,
December 20, 2006. This call was restated in November 2007 when it nominated the Dampier Archipelago
as one of the top ten on the Nation's most endangered heritage areas and again in the 2008 in the National
Trust's Our Heritage at Risk list.

" The Premier, The Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, has acknowledged the World Heritage values of the area,
saying, "And this - this [referring to the Burrup] is not just Aboriginal heritage,
this is Australia's heritage, it's world heritage".

" In 2008 the Australian Archaeological Association sought the placing of all the
Islands of the Dampier Archipelago on the Australian Tentative List of World Heritage Places .

" On September 24, 2003 the World Monuments Fund (WMF), a private, non-profit organisation
dedicated to preserving the historic, artistic, and architectural heritage of humankind,
released its 2004 World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites. The Dampier Archipelago,
Dampier Rock Art Complex, was the first and only site in Australia featured on the Watch list.
The listing was continued again in 2005 and 2007 and is one of the few sites in the World to
remain on the list for this length of time.

FARA Activities in the past two years

Include meetings with:

" Watercorp to discuss a Desalination Plant proposed for the Burrup

" The Chair and staff of the EPA regarding submissions about the ammonium nitrate plant
proposals for Sites C & D

" The WA Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Peter Collier, to discuss the urgent need for a
management plan for the Burrup

" The National Trust to discuss ways of progressing a management plan for the Burrup

" The WA Minister for the Environment, Bill Marmion, to discuss FARA's concerns regarding
the proposed ammonium nitrate plants on the Burrup

" Woodside Energy and senior Pluto staff to better understand the company's approach and
to discuss ways of progressing a management plan, particularly the establishment of an
interpretative centre, the employment of Indigenous rangers, and the education of workers
regarding theft and vandalism of rock art

" Senior staff of the Department of State Development to discuss the process of granting
industrial leases and gather information regarding the ammonium nitrate proposals

" The Australian Heritage Council prior to their site visit to the Burrup as part of the
emergency review into the heritage values of the Burrup

" Dr John Avery, independent consultant reviewing the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972
regarding the inadequacy of the Act to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage

" Centre for Rock Art Studies at UWA to discuss possible collaboration

" Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation about their work and potential collaboration

" Premier Colin Barnett to discuss his views regarding the balance between industrial
development and protection of cultural heritage

In the last 12 months FARA has also written letters and submissions to:

" All State MP's providing them with information regarding the Burrup Peninsula prior to
Robin Chapple's bill to amend CALM Act (to allow DEC to collaborate with Murujuga Aboriginal
Corporation on management plan)

" Relevant State and Commonwealth Ministers urging their support in the protection of the rock art

" All companies interested in bidding for Burrup Nitrates and/or building ammonium nitrate plants,
pointing out the inevitable damage to world heritage rock art

" The World Monument Fund to have the Burrup Peninsula re-listed on World's 100
Most Endangered Sites

" Pilbara Development Commission emphasising need for education of workers regarding vandalism
and theft of rock art

" The EPA regarding proposals to develop ammonium nitrate production facilities by Burrup
Fertilisers and Dampier Nitrates Pty Ltd

" The ACCC in relation to the review of possible acquisition by Incitec Pivot Ltd of interests
in Burrup Holdings Ltd, Burrup Fertilisers Pty Ltd and/or interests in Burrup Nitrates Pty Ltd

" Submission to support Lynn McLaren MLC's amendment to Australian Heritage Act in WA Parliament

" Submission to the review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA)

FARA Meetings / Activities since November 2010

27/11/10 - Workshops to formulate our strategic plan, FARA's 'Framework for the Future of the Burrup'
and discussion with Prof Ana Vrdoljak (UWA Law) on procedure for World Heritage listing

14/1/11 - meeting with Watercorp to discuss Desal plant

17/1 - meeting with Assoc Prof Jane Balme, Centre for Rock Art Studies, UWA to discuss possible collaboration
- no actual funding for a chair!

24/1 - letter to Dept of State Development requesting zoning for industrial expansion on the Burrup

1/2 - letter to Sam Walsh asking for meeting with Chamber of Culture & the Arts WA

15/2 - letters + Sylvia Hallam report to all WA politicians prior to Robin Chapple's bill to amend CALM Act
(to allow DEC to work with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation on management plan)

18/2 - Stephen Walker, solicitor, to discuss Section 18

19/2 - Ian Viner & Wilfred Hicks - means by which to help MAC with Management plan, possible challenge to Section 18?

21/2 - Appeals Convenor - to discuss FARA's appeal against Burrup Nitrates' proposal for an ammonium nitrates plant

23/2 - Tim Shanahan, UWA - further discussion on possible FARA-CRAS collaboration - funding still the issue…

28/2 - EPA - meeting to discuss FARA's submission against Dampier Nitrates' proposal for an ammonium nitrates plant

Feb - contributions to Scott Ludlum's motion in Federal Parliament for WHL,
leading to 2/3 announcement of emergency review of Burrup by AHC!!

11/3 - National Trust to discuss FARA-NT collaboration in advancing management plan

14/3 - letters to receivers, potential investors in Burrup Fertilisers/Nitrates pleading against unethical corporate practice

15/3 - FARA's submission to World Monument Fund to have Burrup re-listed on World's100 Most Endangered Sites

25/3 - Peter Collier, Minister for Indigenous Affairs - discussion of urgent need for a management plan

5/4 - Bill Marmion, Minister for the Environment - discussion of FARA's concerns re ammonium nitrates plants on the Burrup

5/4 - Woodside - discussion of possible financial help with advancing management plan,
particularly re establishment of interpretative centre, Indigenous rangers, education of workers re theft & vandalism of rock art

5/4 - Paul Vogel, EPA - discussion of FARA's submissions and appeal against ammonium nitrates plants on the Burrup,
particularly new scientific evidence to hand re toxic effluents

22/4 - further letters to all companies interested in bidding for Burrup Nitrates and/or building ammonium nitrates plants,
pointing out the inevitable damage to world heritage rock art

5/5 - FARA submission to Pilbara Development Committee emphasising need for education of workers re vandalism

10/5 - meeting with Dept of State Development to discuss process of granting industrial leases

30/5 - further meeting with Woodside consultant to discuss possible FARA role in advancing
management plan / establishment of interpretative centre with Indigenous rangers

6/6 - FARA's inclusion on Paul Tacon's 'Protect Australia's Spirit' website - promotion of July Burrup tour

10/6 - meeting with Carmen Lawrence and Australian Heritage Council

10/6 - FARA submission to support Lynn McLaren MLC's amendment to Australian Heritage Act in WA Parliament

12/7 - meeting with Dr John Avery (Aboriginal Heritage Act review)

23-30/7 - Fifth annual Burrup Heritage tour

12/8 - meeting with Prof Iain Davidson & Helen Arthurson of IDHA Partners,
hired by Woodside to do an independent review of their management of Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Oct - news that CRAS professorial chair (Jo Donaldson) to be funded by Rio Tinto + 2 PhDs, one specifically on Burrup rock art!

Oct-Nov - U3A talks by Ken Mulvaney, Mike Donaldson, Robin Chapple, Judith Hugo - to be repeated next year!

?/12 Meeting with Woodside over heritage surveys being undertaken between Pluto site and Joint Ventures plant.

Telephone discussions with Alisdair MacDonald (DEC, Karratha)
and Ron Critchley (CEO, MAC) over progress of the management plan

Continued correspondence with Dept of Indigenous Affairs re above, plus progress of AHA review?

29/12 - meeting with Apache re buying stake in Burrup Holdings

20/1/2012 - meeting with Christine Ginbey, Dept State Development, re status of TAN
(ammonium nitrate plant) developments on the Burrup

23/2 - meeting with Jarrah Elliott-Moyle, Commonwealth Dept of Sustainability,
Environment, Water, Population & Communities re WHL for the Dampier Archipelago

24/2 - Gary Slee & JM meeting with Paul Cleary, journo for The Australian

25/2 - JH meeting with Phillip Adams & producers

6/3 - meeting with Josh Harris & Fran Stanley, policy advisors to Marmion, WA Minister for the Environment

6/3 - Ken Mulvaney address to U3A - also Mike Donaldson 8/3, Robin Chapple 20/3 & June Moorhouse 22/3

7/3 - JH meeting with Ron Critchley, CEO for MAC - update on management plan

13/3 - meeting with EPA, Frank Murray (BMMAC), DEC reps - John Black arguing damage to rock art patina by TAN emissions

14/3 - meeting with Jane Balme & Jo McDonald, Centre for Rock Art Studies, UWA

14/3 - meeting with Bill Johnston, Shadow Minister for State Development -
follow up letter also to Sally Talbot (Environment) and Ben Wyatt (Indigenous Affairs)

14/3 - meeting with Allisdair McDonald, DEC Regional Manager, Pilbara Region

21/3 - John Black meeting with Burke's Heritage advisor, etc

25/3 - JH advice (via RC) to Burke's Heritage advisor, etc about strategy for getting WA govt to request WHL for the Burrup…

26/3 - beginning of doco on the Dampier Archipelago -John Strano gets RC material

17/4 - Ken Mulvaney wins prestigious WA Heritage Award, nominated by FARA

23/4 - FARA meeting with YARA International - expressed concern about toxic emissions & will continue to be watchdog!

6/5 - FARA stall and march at May Day, Fremantle

14/5 - update from Jarrah Elliott-Moyle re developments on the Burrup

7/6 - meeting with Ron Critchley, CEO of MAC, re management plan, etc

26/6 - meeting with Colin Barnett - WHL 'not on my watch', wants industrial development to continue!

27/6 - Ron Critchley meets with John Black & some FARA committee

11-19/8 - 3rd FARA tour of the Burrup, led by June Moorhouse

21/8 - meeting with Tony Burke, Minister of Environment, etc in Canberra!
Cut short, but JB stressed need for better scientific research. WHL addressed in follow-up letter…

30/8 - JH addressed Federal Petitions Committee about the plight of the Burrup -
recorded by Hansard, FARA letter to Burke to be personally delivered by chair!

11/10 - WH forum, Fremantle Prison - discussed the plight of the Burrup

15/10 - meeting with Mark Loquan, new CEO of YARA Pilbara -
they are anxious to comply with all Cmwlth provisions; will keep us informed; wants a tour of the rock art

15/10 - meeting with Andrew Mann, Regional Development
-involved in Pilbara Cities development, not that interested in rock art…

16/10 - meeting with Rob Freeth re 3D digital imaging of the rock art,
possible collaboration with Centre for Rock Art Studies, UWA…

16/10 - meeting with DEC to discuss new Burrup Rock Art Technical Working Group (BRATWG)
to be chaired by Frank Murray (JB involvement?)

16/10 - meeting with Ian McLeod, Maritime Museum > he & JB to work together on
further scientific tests to prove damage to rock patina by industrial emissions

17/10 - John Black meeting with Frank Murray > discouraged from joining BRATWG

6/11 - start of 3rd series of U3A talks by Ken M, Mike D, Robin C, June M

9/11 - UWA Day of Ideas on protecting heritage - Jo McDonald addresses the difficulty of
getting our government/s to commit to protecting the Burrup via WHL

21/11 - letter to Kelly Howlett, Labor candidate for Pilbara seat, requesting support for the Burrup

24/11 - FARA Strategy Planning Day: