Why Aussie protester painted Woodside's glass facade yellow

It's not the first time protesters have taken action against the energy giant.

Yellow paint has been sprayed over the headquarters of energy giant Woodside by a lone protester in Perth.

Video shows musician Trent Rojahn protesting against the miner’s multi-billion gas project on Western Australia's remote Burrup Peninsula, criticising its continued production of fossil fuels amid the climate crisis.

He then picks up a spray can and scrawls the words “Disrupt Burrup Hub” across the glass facade of the 32-storey building.

Two images of Trent Rojahn spray painting the Woodside HQ.
A lone protester used yellow paint in a protest against Woodside's gas project at the Burrup Peninsula. Source: Supplied

How did Woodside respond the incident?

In response to the protest action Woodside issued a short statement. “Woodside respects people’s rights to protest lawfully and supports constructive engagement on all issues of importance to the communities where we live and work,” it said.

How did the police react?

Western Australia police issued a statement confirming the event. "About 9.40am this morning, local police attended a damage incident outside a building on Mount Street in Perth. Two people were spoken to regarding the incident – inquiries remain ongoing," it said.

Why was yellow paint used?

Sporting a mullet, shorts and a Disrupt Burrup Hub T-shirt, Mr Rojahn is a part of a local punk band called Last Quokka. The environmentalist also wants Woodside to abandon plans to continue developing the Burrup site.

"The yellow paint on Woodside’s headquarters in Perth is symbolic. The Burrup Hub is spraying toxic sh** on top of sacred rock art and f***ing up our climate," he said in a statement.

It's not the first high-profile protest against the company's project this year. In January, two protesters wearing Disrupt Burrup Hub T-shirts spray painted a yellow Woodside logo onto the glass in front of an artwork by Australian artist Frederick McCubbin at the Art Gallery of WA.

Why is Woodside’s Burrup Hub controversial?

The government has permitted Woodside to continue gas operations off the Burrup Peninsula until 2070, despite estimates it could release between 4.3 and 6 billion tonnes of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

There are over 1 million pieces of rock art at Murujuga. Source: Ray Dahlstrom
There are over 1 million pieces of rock art at Murujuga. Source: Ray Dahlstrom

The project has drawn intense criticism from environmental and academics as the world continues to grapple with the profound impacts of the climate crisis.

Could Burrup Peninsula industry destroy Indigenous rock art?

Indigenous groups have also raised concerns about emissions from Woodside and other industrial projects, including the Perdaman fertiliser plant that the government has approved.

On Friday, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek nominated the region’s Murujuga cultural landscape to receive UNESCO World Heritage listing. The area is home to over 1 million rock art paintings and contains evidence of continuous traditional culture and practice of over 50,000 years.

An assessment of risks to the site by industry began after women from Mardudhunera group Save Our Songlines called on Minister Plibersek to intervene. In 2022, traditional custodians Raelene Cooper and Josie Alec flew to Geneva and told the United Nations Australia was committing “cultural genocide”.

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