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Like many people, Yingibarndi man Glen Aubrey wants to know what impact major gas and fertiliser plants are having on ancient rock art within a World Heritage-nominated area in Western Australia’s north.
“I don’t want to see any rock art getting destroyed through emissions or anything like that,” he says.
“I’d just like to protect it.”
The Murujuga region near Karratha, 1,500 kilometres north of Perth, takes in a vast expanse of land and sea country, and is believed to be home to more than one million petroglyphs.
The region is also home to large industry, including gas and fertiliser plants, which has been a source of controversy and concern within the community.
A gas derrick burns in the background of red rocks at Burrup Peninsula.()
Mr Aubrey is a local ranger and is being trained in rock art monitoring as part of the Murujuga Rock Art Monitoring Program (MRAMP).
The program was started by the state government, together with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC), which represents five language groups with ongoing cultural connections to the area.
Described as the largest and most comprehensive rock art monitoring program ever implemented in the world, the research will be used to set new emissions standards.
“It’s important to be looking after the country,” Mr Aubrey says.
“Some of these rock art have been here over 50,000 years and to see the amount of rock art in the area, it’s something you’ve got to see for yourself.”
Activists have been campaigning for greater protection of the Murujuga rock art, amid concerns about the impact of nearby industry.()