Dampier petroglyphs

These petroglyphs will be destroyed by the Western Australian government, along with hundreds of thousands like them.

The following comments concerning the threat to the Dampier rock art are a small selection of those made by signatories of the ‘Save Dampier rock art’
Petition. We are grateful for the support of all signatories. If you have not signed the Petition as yet, please click on the link below, read the Petition and sign it. Many thanks!

The Burrup is the world’s greatest rock art gallery, let’s save it! Cliff Holdom, Western Australia

Isn’t wrecking beautiful things fun, especially when there’s a dollar in it. James Pillsbury, Western Australia

I have personally visited many of the Dampier sites in 1992. They are of world-class quality and need to be preserved and protected as part of humanity’s priceless heritage. Professor Ekkehart Malotki, Arizona

Rock art sites must be protected and preserved. Professor Majeed Khan, Saudi Arabia

Please take urgent measure to save this irreplaceable rock art corpus, which is not only important to Australia but also to all of the world. Professor Tang Huisheng, China

The irreplaceable cannot be replaced! Glenn Woodley, New South Wales

As an editor of archaeological publications I have come to realize the great scientific and aesthetic value of rock art as well as its importance to indigenous communities. Once gone, lost forever. Professor Monica Barnes, New York

It is about time that all Australian governments (State & Federal) faced up to their responsibilities to undertake meaningful discussions with local Aboriginal Communities regarding the protection, documentation and preservation of Aboriginal rock art in Australia. This example is one of the most extreme of many throughout the country. R. G. Gunn, Victoria

In my role of Prehistoric Art Museum Director, IFRAO Italian Representative and UNESCO Liaison Officer, I completely share this Petition. Professor Dario Seglie, Italy

Would we bulldoze Stonehenge? Put Abu Simbel through the rock crusher? If we allow the Dampier sites to be damaged or destroyed, we are no better than those who blew up the Buddha statues in Afghanistan. Geoffrey H. Drew, Queensland

For a country with a long-standing reputation/joke as having no culture, it is in fact a tragedy, that one of the oldest cultures and evidence of its existence, is threatened, yet again by white mans greed. Professor Martin William Hamblen, England

Destruction of cultural heritage is a crime! Dr Dirk Huyge, Belgium

Australia has come to be recognized as a leader in the international effort to interpret and protect rock art. I urge the government of Western Australia to continue to demonstrate the foresight to preserve this precious cultural heritage. Professor Paul Faulstich, California

I beseech you to preserve this irreplaceable, precious part of your national heritage and of the world’s heritage. Jane Kolber, Arizona

Lets govern, not be dictated to by bureaucrats. Fran Westmore, Western Australia

Act in haste; repent at leisure. I implore the W.A. government to reconsider its options in regard to the rock art legacy on the Burrup. Dr Bert Roberts, New South Wales

I believe that there is every reason to utilise the available mainland site. To allow, or even worse, cause the destruction of such an array of art is an act of contempt to all humanity. Professor Elery Hamilton-Smith, AM, Victoria

This is a social, cultural and environmental disaster. Erin O’Donnell, South Australia

Rock art belongs to all of us! A great Nation like Australia should respect the wishes of the traditional owners and preserve the area for our children and their children, forever. Stop this senseless development! Professor Mila Simoes de Abreu, Portugal

Please save these precious and irreplaceable relics for future generations. There is no modern reason important enough to erase these recordings of our past. Dr Michelle Holstein, California

I strongly urge the Western Australian government to intervene on behalf of this important cultural heritage site. The international community will not let any threat such as the current Murujua industrial plan go unnoticed. Dr Reinaldo Morales Jr., Virginia

Having visited the area in 1988, viewing and photographing some of these threatened petroglyphs, I find it inconceivable that any further destruction could be contemplated, particularly as a perfectly viable and economically preferable alternative already exists. Please reconsider. Mary Haginikitas, Queensland

The Hellenic Rock Art Center fights together with AURA to stop the damage to the Humanity. Professor George Dimitriadis, Greece

The rock art in question belongs to everyone. It is our ancient human heritage. Whatever entities happen to own and/or control rock art sites are actually trustees, whether they realize this or not. They must be stewards and protectors of irreplaceable palaeoart. Under written and unwritten laws — they do not have the right to plunder and destroy these prehistoric treasure troves. Australian authorities must not allow the proposed development. They must mandate clean up of the current emissions to preserve the Dampier glyphs from pollution. And, officials must require the plant to move to where it will not negatively affect important cultural artefacts and life. Will Schaleben, Colorado

The loss of world class rock art sites is a loss of cultural property, heritage, and information about humanity’s past. Rock art is an important archaeological artifact for reconstructing the past and is increasingly being recognized as a valuable economic and cultural resource over time. Once it is gone however, it is gone. Industrial sites can be relocated. Rock art cannot. Professor Kevin L. Callahan, Minnesota

Stop state vandalism at Dampier rock art sites: it is just another form of state terrorism – against the common heritage of all mankind. Dr Thomas Schultze-Westrum, Greece

The world community rightly decried the Taliban’s destruction of the monumental Buddhist carvings at Bamiyan. The world community must now express its collective outrage at the Government of Western Australia and those multinational companies who are prepared to damage and destroy ancient petroglyphs. Irene Tallentire, Western Australia

Would the government allow the demolition of the Boyd Gallery to make way for a factory? I think not. Alex Falconer, Western Australia

Australia being a leading country in rock art research, I cannot imagine that such a site could be destroyed. Dr Jean-Loic Le Quellec, France

We cannot allow the destruction of any rock art any where in world. Please encourage others to sign. Terry Eastlake, Queensland

The proposal is outrageous, petition is excellent. Celia Mary Gray, Western Australia

This is nothing but government-sponsored cultural vandalism. Hardly the actions of a so-called civilised society. Nick Brand, Scotland

The WA and Aus Governments have an opportunity to prove that they take a unique and irreplaceable inheritance seriously. Industrial activity on the Burrup will last for the blink of an eye compared to Aboriginal culture there, yet the legacy of tens of thousands of years of culture is under serious threat due to a short term, short sighted and ultimately shallow economic imperative. Mike Bodsworth, Western Australia

Once a mistake has been made, no number of apologies can undo the damage… Dee Jones, England

I strongly endorse the views expressed in this petition. An open but discerning mind reinforced by a little courage can go a long way towards making the world a better place for the generations to come. Jocelyne Arnoux, Martinique

The West Australian Government needs to honour the environmental platform on which they were elected and protect this fabulous heritage site while at the same time ensuring that greenhouse emissions are not increased in the state through the proposed petrochemical plant. The Dampier Rock Art Site is an incredibly important heritage site to the Indigenous community, to the state of WA and internationally. It must be protected for future generations. Renae Jarman-Walker, Western Australia

In the course of both professional and private travel I have made a number of visits to various rock art galleries on the Burrup as well as numerous other rock art sites both in Australia and overseas. I have seen nothing equivalent in abundance and diversity to the rock art of this district. I believe there is a strong case that could be made for the area to be nominated for World Heritage listing. Greg Wallace, Western Australia

The site needs World Heritage nomination ASAP. David Pike, Western Australia

Surely location of new industry on the mainland to reduce the risks to this irreplaceable site seems very little to ask. Once gone, that’s it. No second chances. Sharon Cather, England

For the benefit of humanity, Dampier rock art should be saved from any kind of vandalism. Professor Akira Hagiwara, Japan

If we do nothing about our heritage now, there will be no heritage in the future. Franci Vosloo, South Africa

I remember the good example of the Portuguese Government about Foz Coa engravings. Paulo Frederico F. Goncalves, Portugal

Save the past for the future. Johanne Whitmore, Canada

Australia has become a leader in the area of preservation and conservation of natural and cultural resources. To allow destruction of this area would be a step backwards. Do the right thing Western Australia, move your industrial interests to Maitland. Hasn’t enough Aboriginal heritage been lost already? Garen R. Smith, U.S.A.

When will WA realise what is has?! Cath Drake, U.K.

We will never understand our past if we set about erasing the records. It would be wilful destruction of a world heritage library. Wallace Thornhill, Canberra

An indication of a civilized society is that it has the intellectual and historical capacity to embrace and combine short-time (industry) and long-time (ancient monuments) interests. Let that be so in the case of the government and people of Western Australia! Professor Per H. Ramqvist, Sweden

I am appalled by the proposal to expand industry on the Burrup Peninsula and I cannot conceive why industry should not be relocated to protect the world’s largest art complex. It is a national treasure and its destruction will earn the State Government terrible opprobrium. It shows a callous and mean disregard of indigenous heritage as bad as the proposal to dam the Franklin or uranium-mine in Kakadu. Dr Joe Dortch, Sydney

This destruction of cultural heritage through government inaction on acid rain is disgusting. Dr Ivars Reinfelds, Wollongong

This is world heritage and we must look after it and allocate funds for preservation in accordance with Traditional Owner’s requirements. Peter Tremain, Albury

I am familiar with the rock art, standing stones and other features of the Burrup-Dampier region and regard its full preservation as of the utmost importance. Professor John Chappell, Canberra

As a citizen of the World I feel no boundaries as to whom heritage belongs. The Dampier petroglyphs are an inheritance that enrich our life. They convey meanings about the world we live in and beyond as seen by a people we may have not yet understood. Professor Joseph Magro Conti, Malta

I have lived & camped on the Burrup for 8 months & have extensive photographs of the incredible art there, I have also travelled around Australia & have never come across such a density of art in one small area, it is fantastic & must be preserved for future generations to marvel at! Murray Simon, Perth

I think Business should be respectful of the rightful owners of this land. Protecting this rock art gives our community priceless assets for the future. Karen Branley, Perth

If ever there was a time for the WA government to honour their commitment to the true believers this is it. Plain common sense and decency must prevail. Quenten and Carol Jackson, Tom Price, W.A.

Surely progress and development has a conscience also. No profit margin will justify this development if it means the loss of this place. The price is simply too high. Gerard Niemoeller, Darwin

I ran Karratha Backpackers for three years and in that time took countless numbers of Australian and overseas backpackers to the Burrup Peninsula to see the rock art. Their response to the experience was almost exclusively one of disbelief…the vast majority had never heard about the Burrup or the rock art, and they couldn’t believe an area as rich in aboriginal culture as the Burrup is could be allowed to be destroyed in favour of industrial development. The area is very special and should be protected for future generations to experience. Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors have already killed off the Yaburarra people who inhabited the region, so we should preserve what’s left of our Aboriginal heritage in the area by restricting future industrial development of the Burrup Peninsula. at least to the point where it cannot affect any more Aboriginal sites in the area. Barry O’Callaghan, Perth

As a resident of the Pilbara, I am horified at the thought of losing the rock-art. It is culturally and historically important here and globally. It would be a loss to the world! Amy Hollins, Karratha, W.A.

CO2 emissions from these industries should be curbed in line with the Kyoto Protocol. Keith Cairns, Dampier, W.A.

I have lived in this region since I was 11, and I’ve seen the desecration of these amazing historical sites over this time. Further ‘trashing’ of these places is a disgusting thought. The British government wouldn’t build on the Stonehenge site, or the Chinese government wouldn’t mine an area through the Great Wall of China, so why destroy one of Australia’s prime historical sites for a bit of short-term money making? Develop our country by creating a new location. Kate Bebensee, Wickham, W.A.

The historical value of the art work on the Burrup is unparalled anywhere else in Australia – probably the world. How can our government trade this heritage for dollars when there is a viable option for siting industry at Maitland. Why is the government being so bloody minded about even considering Maitland? Vicki Long, Karratha, W.A.

I have witnessed the destruction first hand! David Schoderboeck, Perth

I believe in the power of the collective consciousness. We CAN create the desired outcome. I’m affirming – ‘Industry is excited about establishing on Maitland. The benefits, to all, are incalculable!’ Glenise L Slee, Karratha, W.A.

Listen to the people who now (for a change), think beyond your time in office and put the dollar signs behind you! Sharon Vertigan, Dampier, W.A.

We have to make a stand and stop the destruction of our heritage or there will be nothing left for our children to enjoy.

This is my backyard. What they are planning would make you cry. Tina Bell, Karratha, W.A.

Anyone who has ever sat and immersed themselves in the carvings on the heavy, hot, red rock will know that the Burrup is a unique place. If it was in Europe we wouldn’t even be able to visit the site! Geoff Hurst, Karratha, W.A.

The NW of WA is a vast area. Why choose this one part with so much cultural & historical heritage? Living here in Karratha, people want industry, but not where it destroys irreplaceable art and history. Sarah Lehane, Karratha, W.A.

We are still at primary school, but are amazed that you grown-ups want to destroy what isn’t yours to destroy. As Aussie Kids, we say ‘hear us if you won’t listen to other grown-ups. Don’t just wantonly destroy things – isn’t that what you are always telling us off for?’. Bethia
and Ben Lehane, Karratha, W.A.

History cannot be changed. It has happened. It cannot be erased. If the current Labour Government destroys part of our local history, they will be remembered for the wonton and mindless destruction of history itself. Some legacy! Sue Rennie, Karratha, W.A.

We have lived here for 22 years, and now I feel we’ll have to move our Family along with my three grandchildren, as I am afraid of the acid rain, we have enough cancers in the world now, lets prevent it, not welcome it. And we have all grown to love this place and call it HOME. Why should Government force us to pack up and go somewhere else, when this is our home our Community. I bet the politicians wouldn’t like to pack up their family when they have lived there for 22 years. I will be very angry if this goes through, and this won’t be the last that the pollies hear from me. Judie and Eddie Meredith, Karratha, W.A.

My main concern is the beautiful rock art and what health problems it will create. The predominant wind patterns are not looking good for the towns of Dampier & Karratha for acid rain. Where are the buffer zones between these industries? What about the thermal/air pollution and damage to the fishing/pearling industry. The Maitland is the best option. They don’t want The Maitland Estate because it might cost a bit of money. The Governments of Western Australia have been very slack in their forward planning. They have known about this for many years and have done nothing. The Maitland Estate Environmental Report is available at the Shire of Roebourne Local History Collection at the Karratha Library. Maybe we should turn off the industries in the area for a few days and deprive them of the resources that keep this state afloat. I am sure they couldn’t build the Maitland Estate fast enough. Joanne Pritchard, Karratha, W.A.

Just how serious is the WA State Govt about protecting Aboriginal Heritage Sites. Dampier Archipelago should have been World Heritage listed long ago. NT Claimant groups – don’t let the government buy you out – your history is priceless. Barbara Gloggner, Karratha, W.A.

Maitland Industrial Estate is the correct place for industry. The petroglyphs on the Burrup Peninsula should have World Heritage listing. Any action which compromises the petroglyphs’ integrity is immoral. Nick and Debby Kemsley, Karratha

Destroying the Rock Art, is no different to the morons that blew up the Buddhas in Afghanistan!!!!! You DO have other options! This is something my children should have the right to be able to show their children. Tracie McKay, Karratha

It’s about time that the government stopped pandering to the industrial companies. Enough with letting them dictate the terms. It’s about time our government began to show some courage and protect the area and people they govern. YES, we want the industry, but at what future costs? The government has its head in the sand if it thinks this is going to blow over. Stop delaying and develop Maitland. But please, leave our Burrup alone. Tanya Rinaldi, Karratha

Will you listen to the voice of the people for once. Michele Saw, Dampier

It is time this country started recognising the inherent rights of Indigenous people. This is a heritage site we cannot afford to destroy! Rachel Ritchie, Melbourne

Labour voters all around the country celebrated this governments win in WA. Their win was at least partly ensured by people glad of their ‘green’ stance on sensitive environmental issues in WA. I have many friends in WA for whom this was the case. Please don’t abuse the trust placed in you by facilitating and supporting this development. Save the Burrup Peninsula. Sarah Eastwood, Melbourne

Being a young half-Aboriginal, I say it is more than needed to save the art, it is a necessity. Casey Butler, Perth

This is typical of government, no ears, no eyes, only a mouth greedy for more. Cassandra Burton, Perth

Governments are too money hungry, when our land is all destroyed, only then will they want to give it back to us blackfellas. Leanne Turvey, Perth

My mother’s father was born at the mouth of the Sherlock River further north of the Burrup. Her Dad told her a Dreamtime story about the Burrup, which is very important to the area. To the Government of this so-called Mighty State, how much more do you have to destroy that is irreplaceable to my Indigenous race. Rodney Tittums, Carnarvon, W.A.

As tangata whenua of Aotearoa, you have our full support. Peter George Harrison, Kaitaia, New Zealand

All crimes against Aboriginal people have been profitable and their rights always washed down the river. The non-Aboriginal culture of greed lives on. Terry Whitby, Port Hedland, W.A.

It’s obvious – all roads lead to relocation! Tristan Tipps, Sydney

This type of material is protected everywhere else in the world. Do it here. Barry Oliver, Sydney

Haven’t you got enough to be sorry for??? Claire Tinson, London

It will be a national disgrace if the W.A. government is allowed to get away with it’s plans for Burrup. Louise Taylor, Cairns, Queensland

Do non-indigenous Australians have the right to destroy the heritage of Indigenous Australians? I think not. This sort of vandalism has got to stop, before the culture of the Aboriginal People of Australia is completely gone. Australian Aboriginal culture is extremely rich, it must be preserved for Indigenous Australians, and all other Australians who have chosen to make this country their home. Daryll Mulgrue, Cairns, Queensland

I have had the privilege to see and appreciate a little of the rock art of Murujuga. I often hear that we in Australia have little ‘history’ to appreciate, but here at Murujuga is just such a great work of historical art. I implore you from the depth of my heart to care for this great treasure for now and into the deep future for all the peoples of the world. Diane Johnson, Canberra

This is a library created by Aboriginal ancestors. Its destruction is analogous to the destruction of the libraries at Constantinople during the Middle Ages. Please do not repeat history. J. P Mercado, Jacksonville, Florida

We must hold our heads high when we tell our great-grandchildren how we saved this area of historical importance from the government and industrialists of the day. David Bubb, Sydney

I have walked the Burrup and explored its treasures. Apart from it being a botanical wonderland and important refuge for many species that otherwise wouldn’t survive in the area, it’s a beautiful place. I’d like to be able to show my kids some day. What’s wrong with Maitland, and why is this government adopting a development-at-all-cost mentality like their political opponents? Martin Henson, Perth

Each time I return home new developments have taken place – some positive. The people who grew up around the Burrup appreciate what it has to offer – don’t destroy it for the future generations! Clint Rothe, Aberdeen, U.K.

Aboriginal art is becoming increasingly important as we try to rediscover Aboriginal culture. It is also very important in attracting tourists. In Australia we have probably the oldest art created by a race of people who are still alive. Tourism to the art of the Kimberly is now a very important contributor to the income of the cattle properties. We usually allow artefacts to degenerate before we realise the value of them. Please don’t let this happen to the Dampier art. Tim Kiddle, Melbourne

This is an international disgrace. Consideration needs to be given to the cultural, scientific and aesthetic value of the Burrup Peninsula petroglyphs in any development of the area!! Alice Buhrich, Cairns, Queensland

Rock Art stands as, perhaps, the most universal vehicle of expression of our nature, as Modern Humans’ descendents. It is our common memory, the sense of our existence. I am very distressed to learn about the dangers threatening Dampier rock art, and urge any decision-makers to review decisions that may lead to its destruction. Progress may only be achieved in respect to our memory. Professor Luiz Oosterbeek, Tomar, Portugal

Australian rock art is the most important in the world, because the people that made it are alive and they can explain to us the significance. Adolfo Lopez Belando, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Why is it still so that those who want to save cultural heritage have to argue? Dr Tilman Lenssen-Erz, Koeln, Germany

I am amazed that an Australian government of the 21st century is being so short-sighted and red-necked. Lorna McCraith, Liverpool, U.K.

I doubt that you would desecrate or destroy your (or your ancestors) place of worship in the name of relatively short term industrial expansion. Sites of this magnitude are equal in stature to the cathedrals and churches of the Christian world. Think hard about the long-term effects of any rash acts! Charles Bailey, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, USA

We as human beings lose a little more of ourselves each year as our heritage is destroyed and culture eroded. Nick Caravaglia, Park City, Utah, USA

Australia still has many stunning natural and historical features left. Learn from mistakes made elsewhere in the world to maintain what beauty you have left. Chris Aldous, Rome, Italy

I am currently researching the Burrup as part of the assessment for a University unit. 2 weeks ago, I hadn’t even heard of the Burrup. I am shocked to see what’s happening up there. The petroglyphs are fantastic! They need to be protected. Maitland is certainly the better option. Rebecca Symmans, Perth

You are responsible for saving treasures of humanity. Your children will not forgive your mistakes. The international community is waiting for your right decision. Sandis Laime, Cesis, Latvia

I run tours in the Kimberley. Licensed by CALM. Developments like this will put me and many other regional tour operators out of business. Tourism is forever. The destruction caused by the proposed project means that a permanent resource will be lost for a project that will be forgotten in 50 years. Russell Willis, Darwin

As a GLOBAL CITIZEN, I find it disgusting that you, ‘the Australian Government’ has taken the stance to deprive not just the indigenous peoples of your country but the rest of the world of this ‘world heritage site’, and hope that you see the light and protect this Aboriginal gift for future generations to enjoy! Ian R Warburton, Stirling, U.K.

We hopefully send our signs into space yet neglect signs sent to us. Eric Coote, Mittagong, Australia

Without our history we have no soul. Maggie Abbott, Desert Hot Springs, California

Would anyone dare to endanger a Christian church like this? Any in Australia is under 200 years old. These rocks go back scores of thousands of years, further than the pyramids. We allow our pollies to turn us into a nation of cultureless vandals. Diet Simon, Noosa Junction, Australia

I visited the rock art, it was amazing. I have no intention of visiting the industrial complex. Alex Peterson, Sydney

The short-term view is typical of Australian governments. We live here and are in awe of this brilliant heritage on our doorstep. I can’t even believe we need to have this discussion. It should just be a given that such ancient treasures are preserved to the very best of our ability. Take all further industry down the road to the environmentally friendly alternative industrial estate. Lyn Freeman, Wickham, Western Australia

Should the Murujuga rock art be damaged by the proposed industrial expansion, then those organisations responsible will join a notorious group who destroyed antiquities in the name of personal gain, glory, religion, or the like. These include the Vandals, Huns, Egyptian tomb robbers, looters of American Indian sacred sites, and more recently Stalin, Mao, the Nazis, Pol Pot and the Taliban. Please, Dr Gallop, consider properly the consequences of the proposal. Once lost, we will lose vital history from the world’s oldest living culture. Dr Stephen Karner, Texas, U.S.A.

This action is unthinkable. In the eyes of the world Australia is better than this. Greg Bailey, London, U.K.

I find the vandalism appalling and the lack of honesty and transparency a disgrace. Brian Burke would be proud of you. Chas Savage, Ainslie, ACT

Gallop government, the Burrup is not yours to destroy, don’t do this. Vicki Webb, Port Hedland, Western Australia

As a frequent visitor to Australia’s rock art sites I am appalled at the insensitivity of the West-Australian government towards its priceless cultural and historical heritage. Christian Wesely, Vienna, Austria

To choose Murujuga for industrial development is nothing short of rank laziness on the part of the WA Government. There are several alternatives which would ensure a far smaller impact on this ancient masterpiece. Simon McGarvie, Perth

As a Tasmanian Aboriginal trying to conserve and protect my petroglyph heritage, I find the ongoing destruction of the Dampier petroglyphs to be very distressing. I constantly see non indigenous heritage protected and valued way above Aboriginal heritage. Shame. Caleb Pedder, Hobart

It is disgraceful that so few can destroy the precious heritage of so many. Naomi Barson, Melbourne

This is a tragedy for Australian archaeology and the knowledge of art for all people’s of the world. Has our species become so obsessed with profit and power that we no longer feel that cultural heritage is worth protecting. If the destruction of this site goes ahead the whole human race should feel both outraged and ashamed! Natasha Paling, Adelaide

This destruction of rock art is an absolute scandal, vandalism by government! Rob Barrie, Sydney

Undoubtedly one of the most important rock art and cultural heritage sites worldwide. Professor Matthias Strecker, La Paz, Bolivia

The Dampier rock art is something we inherited from past generations and should be protected for future generations. Please exercise some foresight. Henry Wan, Sydney

As usual, cultural ignorance is our forte! Peter McHardy, Melbourne

WA Govt. would be seen in the same light as the Taliban in Afghanistan if it does not act to protect these historic relics. Barry Sheffield, Yarra Glen, Victoria

Hoping that the Government of Western Australia chooses to show the highest respect for its own cultural heritage and thereby set an example for other countries. Dr Melissa Massat, Saint Affrique, France

Destruction of the past is the largest crime any society can commit. Destroy your past and you have no future. Dr Jean Allsworth, San Francisco, U.S.A.

You can’t destroy the beautiful artwork that is the only remains of the Jaburrara tribe that our own ancestors murdered. I may not live in Australia anymore but it’s still my history and it’s not right to destroy something so beautiful. Holly McMillan, Courtenay, Canada

Losing our history for profit will only serve to bring us nothing, and nothing will be all we’ll have left! Robert Dampier, Galveston, Texas

Please do not add this to the list of cultural disasters for Australia. Dr Dan Witter, Leeston, New Zealand

I find it hard to believe that the world’s largest assemblage of rock art happens to be the ONLY spot in all of Western Australia suitable for a petrochemical plant. Joel Gilman, Perth

The precious treasures of splendid era must be preserved for posterity. Rock art is an essential source for reconstructing historical pasts. Dr Laxman S Thakur, Simla, India

Unbelievable Idiots! Peter McAuliffe, Sydney

Cultural Heritage is an integral part of our existence. Surely as important as saving biodiversity. Rob Burrett, Harare, Zimbabwe

I am an Australian Aboriginal – it’s sad how we indigenous people have been treated by the Australian Government – no they won’t save it, as they have no respect for us – we have experienced 200 years of oppression, what more? May Byrne, Roebourne, Western Australia

Save cultural heritage that belongs to the entire mankind! Col Dr A. K. Prasad, Noida, India

It’s not your heritage to destroy. Fiona Bishop, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia

It’s as bad as what the Taliban did to the statues! Lauren Fureymoore, Newport, U.S.A.

Should Australia be concerned with it’s reputation among the world’s nations, it might be advised to consider the fact that you are destroying a 10,000-year-old cultural treasure. Failing to do so would perhaps lend credence to the notion that you’re all still just a bunch of yodels and thieves. Robert Johnston, Toronto, Canada

Aboriginal cultural genocide and Aussie heritage destruction by its very definition is afoot. Hang your head in shame and apologise in advance to your, my, all Aussie and international children. John Pidek, Karratha, Western Australia

The destruction of these monuments left to us by antiquity, which fill anyone who has experienced them with a sense of wonder, is a crime against the future. Any Government, its ministers or bureaucrats who preside over this desecration will be judged for the vandals they are. And they will be. Frank Rijavec, Karratha, Western Australia

I am absolutely disgusted at your government’s attitude towards this incredibly fragile area. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Money and pride are no reason to continue development on this most precious of areas. I will never again support a Labor government at any level. Linda Lyons, Port Hedland, Western Australia

Inexcusable abdication of the responsibilities of the State. Grant Bussell, Port Hedland, Western Australia

Cultural heritage must be saved and protected. Professor Majeed Khan, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Such a precious loss can never be measured in dollars; such human history remains our greatest ancient asset. Lee Pennington, Louisville, U.S.A.

Do the world a big favour, please! Richard W. Bates, Portland, U.S.A.

It is crucial that this underhanded attempt to destroy an enormously important archaeological site without anyone’s approval be stopped immediately. Please move to Maitland. James M. Huffer, Tucson, U.S.A.

I simply can’t believe the blindness of the current authorities! Professor Gene Nicholas Boiko-Slasten, New York, U.S.A.

Reconciliation doesn’t work while injustices are still happening. This must not go ahead. Rebecca Phillips, Melbourne

To the Government and developers involved in this destruction – shame on you! I hope your short-term monetary gains help you sleep at night, you must be so proud of your contribution! Jodie Mitchell, Melbourne

Beyond comprehension that such a significant site be put at risk/destroyed! Kevan A. Wilde, Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

Living in a developing country is difficult – governments make decisions which we accept with a sigh but understand the problems they face. I didn’t think Western Australia qualified for such consideration. This decision is not based on ignorance – just arrogance! Brian D. Clark, Miri, Malaysia

Swallow your pride, Dr Gallop & listen to your constituents for a change. Sarah Monahan, Karratha, Western Australia

This is the world’s most important art gallery. Would you knowingly and willingly destroy the Louvre? If not, why are you condoning the destruction of this irreplaceable treasure? Geoff Vincent, Melbourne

The silence over the Dampier petroglyphs is synonymous with the attitude embodied in the notion of terra nullius. As a matter of global heritage and reconciliation this cultural landscape should be protected and authority given to the rightful indigenous owners. Anthony Charles Goodfellow, Hobart

Destruction of a quarter of such spectacular rock art in the 1960s is utterly careless. For a Western Australian Labor government to be encouraging such destruction forty years on is simply bad management, and an insult to Aboriginal Australia. Dr Richard L.K. Fullagar, Wollongong, Australia

When there is an alterntive location for a new construction of anything, there is absolutely no excuse to destroy an archeological site (which is a non-renewable resource unlike the proposed plant) for capital gain! Dr Sharon Urban, Tucson, U.S.A.

Thousands of years of heritage for thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. A very poor trade! George Copeland, Sydney

The Dampier Rock Art site is undoubtedly one of the largest, the most significant and spectacular Rock Art sites in the world. As the Australian people and the Government have already set an example to the world in Rock Art conservation and research, the protection and conservation of the Dampier Rock Art landscape is an initiative which is logically expected to follow. Dr Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty, New Delhi, India

This would be a crime against the history of mankind! Dr Edward D. Rockstein, Columbia, U.S.A.

This is a bizarre time to expand petrochemicals! Has anyone in Australia noticed that we have reached peak oil production, and that prices will rise and supplies dwindle from here on out? Dr Ferren MacIntyre, Ballinrobe, Ireland

For goodness sake, stop this vandalism! Professor Robert Layton, Durham, United Kingdom

Dampier rock art is a cultural resource for not only Western Australia, but the rest of humanity. Ben Taylor, New York, U.S.A.

Heritage and history are the DNA of human character. Dr Marian R. Bukhari, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

This is a World Resource! You are ONLY custodians of it! Please take good care of it for the coming Australian and World Generations! Dr Nader Rastegar, Atlanta, U.S.A.

Taliban did it with explosives; cowards do it with acids. Professor Per Hagelia, Oslo, Norway

Please do not let this happen. It would be a disgrace for the Dampier Rock art to be desecrated. Professor Ikuko Watanabe, Honolulu, Hawaii

The initial destruction of part of this site was a disgrace and any further destruction will compound that enormity. The site itself is extraordinary and must be protected. Richard Black, Sydney

This is a disgrace, it never ceases to amaze me, what governments will do in the name of progress. Kerry Chick, Armidale, Australia

Robert has done the work of 10 people to alert the world to the enormous threats to its cultural heritage in the Pilbara. The campaign deserves all the support it can get. Carol G. Williams, St Helens, Tasmania