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Federal government asks Perdaman to pause

Updated: Mar 23


The federal government has intervened over controversial new industry on the Burrup, at the request of Traditional Owners.


The government will investigate threats to heritage at Murujuga from Perdaman and Woodside.


Perdaman has been asked to pause rock art removals while the investigations take place.


Mardudhunera custodian Raelene Cooper says:


“A pause on this destructive plant is long overdue. Our community has been crying out for our voices and concerns to be taken seriously. It should not have taken this much time and this much effort for the people in power to listen to us.


“This should be an opportunity for all the politicians to think again and ask themselves how this situation got so out of hand. How was this plant allowed to get to this stage when they knew the destruction it would bring to Ngurra (Country), to our rock art, to our sacred places?


“The same applies to Woodside and the Scarborough gas project. The government needs to take a long look at the situation and reconsider. If they can put the brakes on Perdaman, they can do the same for Scarborough too.


“We are grateful to Sussan Ley for this positive step forward. We want to share our concerns and address these issues collaboratively. We hope this will lead to a meaningful conversation with the whole community. We are used to not being listened to. Whether it’s the government, or Perdaman, or Woodside or anyone else; they send their people for a few days - maybe even only a few hours – and they do a lot of talking but not much listening. Even when we tell them that we don’t want them building here, they just go back to Perth and do it anyway.


“What we need are independent – really independent – scientists and cultural heritage experts, not the people we have now, who are funded by the same companies who want to build here.


“The same mistakes and problems which led to the destruction at Juukan Gorge are happening again, here. The government made promises that something like that would never be allowed to happen again. They need to put those promises into action.


“We are disappointed that the government has put $255 million into supporting the Perdaman project, especially given the chaos we are seeing over east and the problems in our health systems.


“That money could be so much better spent to help people across the country. Rather than supporting these projects, the government should be using its money to address climate change. We have seen what is happening with the flooding. Mother earth is speaking.”

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