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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
5 December 2006
Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has been hung out to dry by one of his senior Labor colleagues today following an alarming move by Dr Carmen Lawrence to shut down Australia’s largest resources project with a last minute stunt over the Burrup Peninsula.
Federal Labor has instigated an emergency heritage listing of the Burrup Peninsula in the north west of Western Australia, cutting across a process entered into between the WA Carpenter Labor Government and the Australian Government – a process which has been continuing in good faith and which seeks to deliver a win for the environment, Australia’s resources sector and for indigenous heritage.
The capacity of Rudd’s Labor to balance environment and heritage protection with economic development is on day one an issue.
The stakes are high. An industry that employs around 80,000 people and provides $10 billion export income is at risk.
I am currently considering submissions for the heritage listing of sections of the Burrup Peninsula to protect the approximately one million examples of ancient Aboriginal rock art, spread across the 27 thousand hectares of the peninsula.
I and the Western Australian Government agree that any decision about the rock art would ensure that this important heritage would be protected without jeopardising the development of the north west’s LNG deposits.
Labor’s action today risks this considered and collaborative process and the future of resource development in Western Australia.
Media Contact: Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902