A proposed LNG development in Western Australia risks destroying Aboriginal rock art tantamount to “repeating Juukan Gorge in slow motion”, environmentalists warn.
A report by the Conservation Council of WA and The Australia Institute says Woodside’s Scarborough project would produce an additional 1.6 billion tonnes of emissions, “equivalent to building 15 new coal power stations”.
It says the project is the highest-polluting fossil fuel development currently proposed in Australia, exceeding the Adani coal mine, and would increase WA’s total emissions by almost five per cent, or 4.4 million tonnes per year.
It is currently awaiting approval from WA Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson, having secured the green light from state and federal environmental agencies.
The report claims approvals were granted without sufficient consideration of the potential damage to heritage-listed Murujuga rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.
It said the project would “significantly increase” the duration of time that the ancient art is exposed to noxious emissions which could weather the petroglyphs.
Former WA premier and National Heritage Council chair Carmen Lawrence compared the potential damage to Rio Tinto’s destruction of the Juukan Gorge rock shelters.
“We have seen from what happened at Juukan Gorge that our community expects better when it comes to protection of our priceless and irreplaceable Aboriginal heritage,” she said.