Burrup conservation agreement reaches milestone

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
Department of Environment and Energy assistant secretary David Williams, Woodside corporate and legal senior vice president Mike Abbott and Rio Tinto communities and communications general manager Linda Dawson.
Camera IconDepartment of Environment and Energy assistant secretary David Williams, Woodside corporate and legal senior vice president Mike Abbott and Rio Tinto communities and communications general manager Linda Dawson. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr

Government and industry stakeholders have hailed the re-signing of a conservation agreement for the Pilbara’s Dampier Archipelago as a milestone achievement.

July marked 10 years since the conservation agreement was signed after the Burrup Peninsula was placed on the National Heritage List.

Australian Heritage Council indigenous heritage expert Lyndon Ormond-Parker said having industry involved in cultural preservation was unique.

“This is a hugely significant place for Australian (and international) heritage,” he said.

“I think what is really interesting about this particular place is the way industry has worked together with traditional owners to put in place heritage management plans with not only the State, but also the Commonwealth.”

Woodside corporate and legal senior vice-president Mike Abbott said a lot of progress in working with traditional owners had been made in the past 10 years.

“Woodside is proud of the results we have achieved together and looks forward to continuing to work with our partners,” he said.

Under the agreement, Woodside has committed $30 million to projects in the region, such as the Murujuga Ranger program. Woodside has also pledged $4 million towards construction of the Murujuga Living Knowledge Centre.

Rio Tinto communities and communications general manager Linda Dawson said working alongside traditional owners on the Burrup had been a learning journey for the industry.

“Our operations have been running alongside this significant location for 50 years now,” she said.

“It is their land, so we need to work with them and understand how we operate together in a harmonious way to get the right balance of outcomes.”

Ms Dawson said survey work and the partnership with the University of WA’s rock art research centre was ensuring the knowledge inscribed on the rocks of Murujuga was captured.

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