Indigenous Australians campaign to protect rock art

STORY: A government-appointed investigator has been assessing the impact of development in the Burrup Peninsula since last year in response to a request from Cooper and another indigenous women. The protest in Australia's largest city, about 5,000 km from the peninsula, brought the issue to the doorstep of Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.

"It is up to us to keep our culture and our history alive," said Cooper, who applied for the review under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act.

Protecting heritage sites has been a contentious issue since the destruction of 46,000 year-old sacred rock shelters by Rio Tinto in 2020 that cost the jobs of the mining giant's then-chief executive and three other senior leaders.

The Burrup Peninsula already houses several industrial plants amid more than a million rock carvings, some more than 40,000 years old, which have been nominated for a UNESCO World Heritage listing.