Art attacked in Australia

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE • AustraliaMalcolm Turnbull, Australia’s environment minister, has become the target of a campaign from Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The Friends of Australian Rock Art is worried about recent vandalism of artwork in the region’s Burrup Peninsula. The group has called on residents to demand an enquiry from the minister. The panel of Burrup rock art that has been vandalised features rock carvings depicting kangaroos and fish. “The artwork is tens of thousands of years old,” Western Australia’s director of the Minerals Policy Institute, Robin Chapple, said. The federal government has already announced heritage protection for most of Burrup Peninsula. But the heritagelisted area does not include land where oil and gas company Woodside has proposed a liquefied natural gas plant. This has further enraged protestors. Chapple says Turnbull should agree to the specific review requested by the Wonggoo- tt-oo people, who oppose the plant. “There are motifs that date back 30,000 years, possibly the first human faces ever replicated on the planet,” says Wong-goo-tt-oo elder Wilfred Hicks

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