Category Archives: Western Australia

The Burrup Desecration


ISIL and Colin Barnett

YES, there IS a connection.

Earlier this year we were horrified to learn that ISIL, in its barbarous rampage across parts of the Middle East had destroyed the ancient cities of Ninevah and Nimrud. They burnt the library at Mosul which contained 8,000 irreplaceable ancient manuscripts. The UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called the destructions in Mosul a violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199, and the destruction of Nimrud a war crime.

Now Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, has decided that the Burrup Peninsula Rock Art should no longer be afforded the protection of being a Sacred Site. “Burrup Peninsula ‘deregistered’ as sacred site“. The first step in degrading and destroying this irreplaceable site of world-wide importance. All in the name of Industrial Development.  Once the thin edge of the wedge is allowed in, there will be gradual encroachment onto wider areas, destructive vandalism and many “Mia Culpas” from those who should be caring for this site. Yet a million mia culpas will not restore damaged art works to their pristine condition!

Colin Barnett is Australia’s ISIL!

What is “the Burrup”?

The “Burrup” is an ancient site, possibly six or eight times the age of Ninevah. A place where indigenous people recorded the world around them. It is still unknown whether this work was done as a religious duty, a record for future generations or simply for the joy of creating something as simple as ancient graffiti.

MurujugaKnown by the local indigenous peoples as “Murujuga” it is a petroglyph or rock engraving art gallery which dates back to before the last Ice Age. To a time when the living was relatively easy because there was time to spare from survival which was spent creating these labour-intensive works. To a time which included a period when the coastline was many kilometres to the West.

To comprehend how long ago that was, the Noongar peoples of South-West Australia have important oral tales of the Nyitting Times which means ‘cold,’ ‘cold time’ or ‘ancestral times.’ Noongar people know it as the Creation time. Tales dating back to the last Ice Age which ended some 13,000 years ago when there was good hunting on the land between the current coast and Rottnest Island.

The Australian Geographic reported in 2013, “One group of petroglyphs showing land-based animals, is thought to date from a time during the last ice age, when sepetroglyphsa levels were lower and the area was far inland. “

By measuring levels of Berylllium 10, a radioactive isotope that accumulates in the surfaces of rocks because of radiation from space and indicates how long they have been exposed to the elements, (results) support the idea that some of the rock art predates the last ice age, which occurred around 22,000 years ago, says Dr Ken Mulvaney, an archaeologist with Rio Tinto who produced the most recent age estimates based on the style of the art and weathering patterns.

The erosion “is such a slow process that the petroglyphs could remain visible for 60,000 years,” says Ken, who adds that neither he nor Brad (Professor Brad Pillans) think the rock art actually is that old.  Based on current evidence people only arrived in this part of Australia sometime between 35,000 and 42,000 years ago”, he says.

SAVING THE BURRUP

There have been a number of efforts to preserve the Burrup for posterity.

  •  2002; The National Trust of Australia (WA) and the Hon. Robin Chapple MLC nominated the Burrup Peninsula to the National Trust Endangered Places List
  •  2003; the World Monuments Fund added it to its list of Most Endangered Places-the first time an Australian place had been included.
  • 2004; the National Trust, the Native Title Claimants and Robert Bednarik, President of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations, nominated the Dampier Archipelago to the National Heritage list, under the new Commonwealth heritage legislation.
  • 2007; Australian National Heritage listing. (in 2009, Jenny Gregory wrote
  • 2009 ;  This cultural landscape continues to be threatened by industrial development. Rock art on the eastern side of the archipelago, on the Burrup Peninsula, was relocated following the discovery of adjacent off-shore gas reserves so that a major gas plant could be constructed. Work has now begun on the construction of a second major gas plant nearby.) So much for National Heritage!
  • 2012; the 2012 Report by the Australian Heritage Council, reported that the The Dampier Peninsula meets UNESCO Outstanding Universal Values criteria for World Heritage listing.

 

This Burrup petroglyph may be one of the oldest carved faces in the world. (Credit: Ken Mulvaney)

This Burrup petroglyph may be one of the oldest carved faces in the world. (Credit: Ken Mulvaney)

 

TRUST GOVERNMENT PROTECTION?  

SURE CAN’T!

Claims have been made that since 1963, 24.4 percent of the rock art on Murujuga has been destroyed to make way for industrial development. (Robert G. Bednarik, Dampier Fact Sheet, October 2006)   The Western Australian government, responding to a question in parliament, has argued for a much lower figure, suggesting that approximately 4 percent of sites, representing approximately 7.2 percent of petroglyphs, have been destroyed since 1972. . Hon. John Ford, answer to question on notice, Western Australia Legislative Council Hansard, 16 August 2005.
A classic apples and oranges response.

Still, as the Western Australian government has noted, there is no complete inventory of rock art in the region,(WA Department of Industry and Resources, Burrup Peninsula, Frequently Asked Questions,) making assessments of current and future impacts on the site a challenging task.  (How convenient)   Even more interesting is the fact that none of the online references used in the above quote from Wikipedia is still online. Cue deserved conspiracy theory!

BURRUP’S FUTURE

Western Australia has a culture of tearing down its history. Whenever a city building is old enough, it is torn down and replaced with a modern concrete and glass monstrosity and pristine bushlands are cleared for industrial sites.

This does not bode well for a site which is in the way of short-term industrialisation.

There is no financial benefit to having those petroglyphs. Certainly not in a time of the dumbing down of Australia. Some may well be placed in museums around the country. the rest will be moved, rearranged, graffitied and any excess will be dumped,destroyed or reused as building fill!

On the East Coast we are seeing the ISIL-like destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

On the West Coast we will see the ISIL-like destruction of the Great Burrup Art Gallery.

 

 

101 Things To Do With A Swan River #16


I’m afraid someone has found the plug and pulled it.

The Swan River is draining. In fact it is nearly empty!

This was the scene at Maylands yesterday.

swanriver

101 Things To Do With A Swan River #14


You can sit in it for so long that things begin to grow on you!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a part of a jetty upstream from Claisebrooke.

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Go Dockers


Go Dockers

It’s In Their DNA


Back in 2009, Colin Barnett won an election with a glad-handed promise to build a rail line to the big new outer Metro suburb of Ellenbrook.barnett

He broke that promise. He substituted “improved” bus access.

In 2013 he made the same promise because WA is a boom state. It deserves these bright shiny toys and Mark McGowan had made a fully costed proposal for bigger and better railways which cost less than Barnett was able to offer.

About 48 hours before the election he explained that his plan would be financed by the Commonwealth. A Commonwealth Government everyone expects to be run by his mate Tony Abbott.

It seems that his ability to run a Government successfully is dependent, not on the business success of the State but on the generosity of a Commonwealth Government.

Today, in Melbourne, Tony explained clearly, to another mate, that his Government does not “do” railway infrastructure.

It does roads.

So Colin Barnett is just going to have to break the same election promise two electoral cycles in a row! More fool us for thinking any other outcome was likely.

Breaking promises. It’s in his DNA!

After watching “Check-out” tonight, on the ABC, I’m wondering if it is possible to return the Barnett Government to the Electoral Commission and get our votes back.

If that fails, should we take Barnett and his lying mouth to Consumer Affairs?

The Coalition of Special Interests


Western Australia is so lucky to have the Coalition Government it has.

gryllsBear Brendon  Gryllth hath thuccesthfully demanded that country districts benefit from Australia’s biggest pork barrel. The Royalties for Regions rort is so big it is becoming impossible to spend all the taxpayer’s money allocated to this delightfully flush slush fund.

In the urban areas, the Premier Autocrat, Colin Barnett, has chosen to over-spend the remaining tax and royalty dollars on magnificent developments on the Cottesloe foreshore and in huge projects for mates in and around the CBD.colin barnett

The Cottesloe developments will be there for Mr Barnett to gaze at in satisfaction as he takes his retirement perambulations next year after his well deserved retirement. That view will ease his conscience pangs as he tries to ignore the chair-sniffing proclivities of his successor.

It will not be necessary for him to travel into the CBD and its surrounds to have his eyes offended by the giant phallic symbols he has encouraged and approved.

There is only one small section of the Western Australia community which is being ignored.

The Burbs.
trafficNo new rolling stock for the existing rail lines. Once-again promised new rail lines which we will believe in this time! No wage rises for the most over-worked sections of our public slaves nurses and teachers. Incompetent road planning as shown by the three lane section of the Kwinana Freeway which becomes two lanes just before the Roe Highway feeds thousands of vehicles a day onto the Freeway. Such a wonderful traffic jam is created every day!

The suburbs have no special pleaders in power up on Harvest Terrace. There is only one time the Suburbs get some benefit from the taxes they pay. And that is when Labor is in charge. Labor tries to spread the available cash evenly to all of the electorate. The Coalition is a coalition of special interests and that is what we are seeing at the moment.

If you care about your community –

PUT THE LIBERALS LAST.

Colin Barnett and Reality


Red Letter Day; 9th March 2013

The Western Australian Electorate gets to vote on the behaviour of the Barnett/Buswell/Bear Grylls over the past four years.

One of the things we are being asked to do is “Trust the good economic management” shown by the Buswell/Porter/Buswell Treasureships under the Barnett Government.

Should we look closely at that?

Probably not!

We may accidentally see the Perth Arena.

From what started off as an estimated $150 million dollar project, ended up costing $550 million. Plans have changed, time was extended, making it 3 years behind schedule.

We may accidentally discover that, in the colin barnettmidst of the State’s greatest ever boom, our deficit is the highest in history. This must be of some embarrassment to the Liberal Party Australia-wide given the Tony Abbott hatred of anything less than a surplus. The West Australian Barnett government has flagged the boom state’s first deficit in 13 years, sparking calls for a complete review of capital expenditure programs.

Then we may, again accidentally because it won’t be drawn to our notice, discover that our State debt is a little bit bigger than under the last Government.

Troy wos here

Troy wos here

Off again, on again treasurer Troy Buswell appears to be using Hockeynomics to unbalance our State books.

The annual interest bill on WA Government debt is poised to top $1 billion – enough money to buy a new sports stadium every year. And the total amount of debt is set to balloon further after Treasurer Christian Porter junked Premier Colin Barnett’s pledge to keep total debt below $20 billion.

The growing debt is causing friction between Treasury officials and politicians, with bureaucrats worried that the Barnett Government is focusing on projects which are politically popular but yield a questionable return for the State.

State debt was $9.9 billion on June 30 last year. It is expected to rise to $14 billion within four months and hit $19.9 billion in 2014. A few weeks before Mr Barnett became Premier, it was $3.6 billion. The corresponding interest bill will blow out from $682 million in mid-2010 to $1.01 billion in 2014 – equal to $735 a year from every adult in WA.

Even the classic pork barrel Royalties for Regions demanded by Bear Brendon Gryllsgrylls has not soaked up a half of the 20 Billion dollar debt which the Buswell/Porter/Buswell-run Treasury has ticked up.

Don’t be caught thinking “Of course, we have a billion for the Stadium, we have a couple of billion for the railway and we have 2.6 billion for Elizabeth Quay.” That money has not yet been spent. That will only increase our debt levels to the point where we will lose our AAA credit rating! And with the Perth Arena example, how can we trust these numbers?

Listening to the leader’s debate on the ABC last night I was left with the impression that Colin Barnett belives it is the job of his Government to spend up big at the moment because the state will get a lot of revenue “over the next few years.”

Mark McGowan was the leader who sounded prudent and careful about our finances.

So we have a choice on the 9th.

The good economic management” shown by the Buswell/Porter/Buswell Treasureships under the Barnett Government and go into so much debt our grandchildren will still be paying it off.

Or we can be prudent, elect an ALP Government and wait till the cash is in our hands before we spend it!

PUT THE LIBERALS LAST!