Cultural Heritage

Woodside’s obligations to manage Aboriginal cultural heritage and to support community-led initiatives is informed by our Indigenous land access agreements, Conservation Agreement and ongoing consultations with Traditional Owners and heritage professionals.

We currently operate under four existing Section 18 consents for our North West Shelf and Pluto lease areas (Pluto A, Pluto B, North West Shelf and North West Shelf Extension). However, we have not disturbed any heritage places beyond the construction periods for each facility - the last of which was the construction of the Pluto LNG in 2007. Woodside has not made any Section 18 applications since 2012. The Browse onshore development applied for a Section 18 for James Price Point in 2012 but this was never activated.

Woodside has successfully operated its LNG facilities on the Burrup Peninsula (Murujuga) for more than 30 years. We are proud of our relationships with Traditional Owners that have been built over this time. 

With hindsight there may have been better ways to manage the cultural heritage impacts of the construction of the Karratha Gas Plant more than 35 years ago. Our approach was much better with the construction of Pluto LNG from 2007.  Today our heritage management is thorough and transparent as a result of continued close engagement with Aboriginal stakeholders and communities.

We fully recognise the importance of the cultural heritage of the Burrup and its magnificent rock art. We understand the significance of the protection and management of heritage places and that it is a critical issue for all stakeholders concerned.

Woodside’s support for the World Heritage listing of the Burrup Peninsula reflects this successful co-existence of heritage and industry. World Heritage Listing was initiated by a joint decision of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and the Premier of Western Australia, and the Murujuga Cultural Landscape has been included on Australia’s Tentative World Heritage List – a key step in the process of receiving World Heritage status.

We strongly support the processes and procedures for the better management and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage sites in Western Australia that will be included in the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill, which is currently subject to consultation.

Woodside does not currently intend to seek Section 18 approval for any growth project, and has designed all on-shore development to specifically avoid Murujuga’s National Heritage Listed petroglyphs and other heritage sites. 

Our continued commitment to Reconciliation in Australia

Woodside has been part of Reconciliation Australia's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program since 2009.

Overseen by not-for-profit organisation Reconciliation Australia, RAPs require participants to publicly nominate and report on practical actions they are taking to foster reconciliation and help reduce the unacceptable life-expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Woodside was the first oil and gas company to join the program, and we've continued our pioneering approach. Our current 2016 - 2020 RAP has been recognised for shifting away from measuring activities, in favour of longer-term outcomes. We report every year on progress from our base year (2016) towards committed outcomes in Respect, Relationships, Opportunities and National Leadership.

Key stats

98 %
Increase in contract awards to Indigenous businesses under this Elevate RAP
Indigenous students and future leaders supported in their studies in 2019
50 %
Of the Australian-based workforce has completed cultural learning since 2016

Woodside builds long-lasting relationships with Indigenous communities.

We understand the importance of identifying and working with those who have longstanding cultural and spiritual connections to land and waters where we have presence.

We demonstrate respect and act with integrity to improve economic, social and cultural outcomes for Indigenous people. We also recognise that Indigenous people have knowledge, skills and connections that can help us on our journey to becoming a global leader in upstream oil and gas.

In Australia, we maintain relationships with Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara, Kimberley and South West regions. We acknowledge the unique and continuing connections of Whadjuk, Ngarluma and Yawuru people to land, waters and community.

Watch next:

Ryan Cobb - Australia’s first Indigenous Master Mariner

Woodside's 2018 Reconciliation Action Plan Report
Extending Agreements with Pilbara Aboriginal groups
Woodside's Outcomes for Reconciliation: Opportunities
Erin CTA
More than a Career, an Adventure
We value the contributions Indigenous Australians make to our business, as community members and employees. We're committed to increasing opportunities and have a dedicated team overseeing a range of pathway programs and support options.
Woodside acknowledges Indigenous people's connections to land, water and community. We pay our respects to ancestors and elders - past, present and emerging. We recognise the many contributions Indigenous people make to our business, as community members and employees.