A joint venture between diversified engineering consultancy Calibre Group and indigenous company Tocomwall has been contracted by the state government to develop a monitoring program for the Aboriginal rock art on Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula).
A joint venture between diversified engineering consultancy Calibre Group and Indigenous company Tocomwall has been contracted by the state government to develop a monitoring program for the Aboriginal rock art on Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula).
The contract comes after the Murujuga Cultural Landscape was added to Australia's World Heritage tentative list earlier this month.
Murujuga is home to the largest concentration of Aboriginal rock art in the world, as well as to some of Western Australia’s major export industries.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said last month more than one million images had been engraved into the Murujuga red rock landscape, capturing at least 47,000 years of human existence.
The Calibre-Tocomwall joint venture, called Puliyapang, will design and implement a scientific monitoring and analysis program to help determine whether the rock art is being subject to accelerated change by the impacts of industry and shipping emissions.
Meanwhile, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) will partner with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to oversee the monitoring program as well as evaluate and report trends and changes in the condition of the rock art.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the state government was committed to protecting rock art on Murujuga.
“The rock art is a vital part of Western Australia’s unique cultural heritage and is of immense cultural and spiritual significance to the traditional owners,” Mr Dawson said.
“We believe this globally unique 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.”
The WA government committed $649,000 in the 2019-20 state budget to support the implementation of the Murujuga Rock Art Strategy, released in February last year.
Last month, the state government placed a tentative list submission for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, following discussions with MAC.
MAC chief executive Peter Jeffries said the rock art was an irreplaceable link to Aboriginal culture and history.
“We recognise the need for thorough and wide-ranging scientific analysis of the impact of industry on the rock art to ensure the rock art survives for future generations,” Mr Jeffries said.
“This is also an opportunity to develop the capacity of our local Murujuga rangers so we can manage the preservation of the petroglyphs (carvings) independently, as we have done for thousands of years.”