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After years of debate traditional owners have at last agreed to pursue world heritage protection for the Burrup Peninsula (external site)

The site is home to the country’s largest collection of indigenous rock art.

There are concerns pollution from nearby heavy industry is slowly eroding the rock art, but Aboriginal groups involved have been reluctant to agree to world heritage protection for fear they would lose control of their land.

The new head of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) Peter Jeffries says agreement has now been reached.

“We have had the discussion internally with our circle of elders,” he said.

“We have approval from the circle of elders to go down the path of world heritage listing.

“The benefits from what I understand is from a tourism point of view, where we have people come from around the country and the world to come and see the Murujuga landscape.”

MAC will now approach the state government to help with the nomination process.

The state Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has previously stated his support for the Burrup’s world heritage listing but only if MAC agreed.