Joint Media Release: Murujuga world heritage listing one step closer

28 January 2020

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
The Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Western Australian Minister for the Environment


The Australian Government has lodged a submission for Murujuga Cultural Landscape in north-west WA to be included on Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List, marking the first step in a bid to secure World Heritage listing of the site.

Australian Government Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the nomination had been submitted on behalf of the Western Australian Government and the Ngurra-ra Ngarli group of traditional owners, collectively represented by the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

 “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,” Minister Ley said.

“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.”

Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation had worked with the Western Australian Government to have the unique archaeological, cultural and spiritual values of the area internationally recognised at the highest level.

“The successful transmission of the Tentative List Submission to UNESCO is testament and demonstration of the high level of commitment and cooperation from MAC and government to work collaboratively to progress this important initiative,” Minister Dawson said.

“There has also been broad level of support from stakeholders, including industry and the local community, for World Heritage listing. 

 “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.”

Tentative Listing is the first step required in the World Heritage nomination process. 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. MAC and the Western Australian Government will now prepare, in consultation with the Australian Government and stakeholders, a more comprehensive nomination dossier that adequately reflects the meaning of the area to the traditional owners.