A Tentative List Submission for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape has been formally transmitted by the Australian Government to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre so the area can be added to Australia's World Heritage Tentative List later this year.
Tentative Listing is an important step forward in meeting the aspirations of the traditional owners to have the unique archaeological, cultural and spiritual values of the area internationally recognised at the highest level.
The latest milestone is another example of the McGowan Government delivering on its election commitment to pursue World Heritage listing of Murujuga and ensure that the area's unique rock art is protected.
The Tentative List Submission has been developed through extensive discussion with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC), representing the traditional owners of Murujuga, and the Western Australian Government, under the guidance of an independent World Heritage advisor and in collaboration with the Australian Government.
This is the first step required in the World Heritage nomination process, as a place will not be considered for World Heritage listing by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee until it has been on the Tentative List for at least 12 months.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The successful transmission of the Tentative List Submission to UNESCO demonstrates the high level of commitment and co-operation from MAC and government to work collaboratively to progress this important initiative.
"There has also been a broad level of support from stakeholders, including industry and the local community, for World Heritage listing.
"MAC and the McGowan Government will continue to build on this positive approach to now prepare a more comprehensive nomination dossier that adequately reflects the meaning of the area to the traditional owners.
"This will be undertaken in collaboration with the Australian Government and in liaison with stakeholders."
Comments attributed to MAC Chief Executive Officer Peter Jeffries:
"This Tentative List Submission for World Heritage listing has been thousands of years in the making, and we're encouraged by the efforts made across State and Federal governments to secure its approval.
"Murujuga is a place of truly global significance and this is an important step in securing international awareness and protection of our incredible landscape and unique culture.
"As representatives of many traditional owners of this land, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation is playing a central role in the World Heritage nomination process by delivering leadership and cultural guidance.
"We also welcome anyone with links to this special place to now participate in the World Heritage nomination process alongside us."
Comments attributed to Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley:
"The Ngurra-ra Ngarli peoples have known for many millennia how special their country is. I am proud to support their bid to show the rest of the world how culturally rich and diverse Murujuga is.
"Murujuga, which includes the Dampier Peninsula and surrounds, has the largest, densest and most diverse concentrations of petroglyphs in the world. More than one million images have been engraved into its striking red rock landscape.
"The petroglyphs, along with stone structures, middens and quarries, capture at least 47,000 years of human existence and provide an archaeological record of traditional use of the area over this time."