Yet another urgent appeal as more industry threatens the Burrup rock art.

Many thanks to all of you who responded to our urgent pleas back in November to send in requests to WA’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to make Public Environmental Reviews (PERs) mandatory for 4 more industry proposals on the Burrup. Thanks to your overwhelming response (a record, we’ve been told!) PERs were granted for all 4 of these proposals.

However, just before Xmas Woodside slipped in yet another proposal for their Scarborough Project’s Nearshore Component which involves a great deal of dredging of the seabed which will have devastating effects on the marine life of the area and, although they make no direct reference to the rock art, will also  vastly increase pollution, making a critical situation even worse.

This proposal was published on the EPA’s website on 9 January and closes 15 January!

Like before, we have simplified the process:
• go to  Scarborough Project Nearshore Component
• scroll down and click on 1 Referral/Comment on this referral which takes you to the form
• fill in your personal details and, under 5, tick the 4th option for a PER
• under Reasons, see below, but please add your own anxieties about the inevitable destruction of the rock art by further industry
• tick the box allowing EPA to use your comments for its decision
• click Continue for a reference number

Reasons for a PER for Woodside’s Scarborough Project

  • The proposal will extend the life of the Woodside gas plants for another 25 year.
  • It does not consider the impact of Woodside’s extended emissions on the rock art.
  • Current level of emissions allowed under the Woodside Licence for the gas processing plant is 3 times that permitted for Yara Pilbara ammonium nitrate plant.
  • Maintenance of the rock surface patina is vital for preservation of the petroglyphs.
    • The surface patina is formed with rock surface pH near neutral (pH 7).
    • The pH of rocks with petroglyphs across Burrup Road from the Woodside plant have fallen to 3.81, which can only occur as a result of mineral acids from industry.
    • Simple electrochemical theory shows that the patina will be dissolved once the pH falls to such low levels.
  •  The WA government should only approve the project if emissions are strictly regulated and enforced to be near zero.
    • Technologies exist that can limit NOx and SOx emissions to near zero.
  • Woodside is an extremely profitable company eg. $3billion profit in 2016.
  • The WA and Federal Governments should insist that Woodside accepts its social responsibility and reduces overall emissions from its Murujuga gas plants to zero.

    And while you’re in the mood, there’s also an Invitation to Comment from the Commonwealth Dept of Environment and Energy relating to the piping of gas from the Scarborough field to the Pluto plant on Murujuga.   It closes on 31 January – reference number 2018/8362

    It is imperative that we put as many obstacles as possible in the way of these industries, for if they get approved before the WA government and MAC manage to get the Burrup on the World Heritage Tentative list sometime in 2019, UNESCO could well consider the site far too compromised to deserve listing!

    And why not drop another line to our Environment Minister Dawson stating just that?


The Burrup needs you.