Far North Queensland rock art to be set in stone

Virtually unexplored rock art on Cape York will be researched and recorded as part of a $1.342 million project announced today.

The Federal Government is funding the initiative to explore the galleries in the Laura Sandstone Basin, north-west of Cooktown.

Already “Quinkan Country’’on the southern rim of the basin has been put on the National Heritage List to ensure the preservation of its distinctive artworks, some dating back 34,000 years.

Artworks further afield will now be examined.

“This project will record the unique indigenous rock art from an area of Australia that is virtually unexplored from an archaeological perspective,” said Education Minister Dan Tehan.

“Traditional Owners, ranger groups and land managers will work with researchers to improve the promotion, conservation and management of our Indigenous history.”

Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said Cape York’s rock art could become another significant tourist attraction for the region, rivaling the galleries of the Northern Territory.

“Rock art tours are a popular tourist attraction in our region.

This project could unlock more opportunities, leading to business growth and job creation while also ensuring the areas are managed and protected,” he said.

“This project will promote economic and social opportunities for indigenous communities in remote parts of Cape York."