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Ngarluma mayaga in plea to channel Juukan Gorge outrage against Murujuga fertiliser plant plan

Tom Zaunmayr -

A prominent Indigenous tour guide has urged Australians incensed by Rio Tinto's destructed of Juukan Gorge to turn their focus onto a urea plant earmarked for a site near Murujuga's best-known rock art collection.

In a rare departure from promoting the Pilbara landscape, Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi mayaga (man) Clinton Walker on Tuesday morning took to social media to raise awareness about the plans among his 35,000 followers.

Perth-based Perdaman has WA Government approval under heavily-derided legislation which allowed the destruction of Juukan Gorge to remove three Aboriginal heritage sites to make way for a $4.5bn urea plant near Ngajarli (Deep Gorge).

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek visited the region this week after some Traditional Owners urged the Federal Government to intervene

Ngurrangga Tours owner Mr Walker, who runs rock art tours on Murujuga and was in 2021 inducted into the WA Tourism Hall of Fame, said he feared for a wagari thalu (fish increase site) bordering the proposed plant.

"(Vikas Rambal) is going to build his site around here and he reckons he is not going to impact any of our cultural sites but if you look you will see how close they are going to get up to this sacred site," he said.

"This impact is going to damage our culture and it is going to damage us as the Traditional Owners because we are connected to these in a spiritual way.

"If people wanna get up in arms about what happened at Juukan Gorge now is your chance to show that and work in solidarity with Traditional Owners to protect the rest of Murujuga and the rest of Australian sacred sites."

Mr Walker said he was worried the urea plant would limit access to rock art locations where children could be taught about family and culture.

The proposed site is within an industrial zone, meaning Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation has no formal say on approvals or support.

Perdaman did not respond by time of publication.

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