Franklin River - Outdoor School

Franklin River Martin Eriksson Lake Peddder Lake Pedder was an issue between the Hydro Electric Scheme (HEC) and environmentalists. The HEC had the full support of the Tasmanian State Government The two environmentalist groups (South

West Committee and Lake Pedder Action Group) banded together to form the Tasmanian Wilderness Society. TWS lost the campaign and the dam was built. TWS After Lake Pedder Although the campaign was lost, the TWS became stronger, wiser

and more organised to fight future battles such as the Franklin River. The Franklin Issue The Hydro Electric Commission (HEC), backed by the State Government wanted to dam the Franklin River. The TWS did not want the dam to

go ahead. Why The HEC Wanted The Dam It was predicted that there would be an increase in industry. This would require Tasmania to double its power production over the next 10 years. The project would create many

jobs as unemployment was high. Boost the economy. Why The Dam Should Not Occur The River and the surrounding ancient forest would be gone forever. This area was relatively pristine and very beautiful. Every other major river in the state

had already been dammed. The dam would provide jobs only in the short term. What Did Tasmanians Want? In the beginning most of Tasmania was happy to have a new hydro scheme to create jobs, provide cheap electricity, and improve the

economy. They were unaware of what was to be sacrificed. What Did TWS Do? They protested to gather support for the campaign against the dam, by marching with banners and having particular speakers.

Every time they protested the rallies became larger and larger. TWS organised workshops for its members to ensure non violent protests. What Did TWS Do? (Cont) TWS were aware that people needed to see or even experience the

natural environment to understand why it was worth saving. They gained media attention across Australia so people could become more aware and gain support from the Federal Government. What Did TWS Do? (Cont) They began running rafting tours

down the Franklin to show people. They invited influential people who might be able to help them. Senator Don Chipp (leader of the Democrats), Jack Evans and Norm Sanders were of those invited. What Did The Queenstown People Do?

They created their own interest group OTD (Organisation for Tasmanian Development). This was to gain their own support from the wider community. World Heritage List In 1981 South West Tasmania was nominated by the federal

government. In 1982 it was officially listed. This meant international pressure to conserve the area. The Franklin was in the heart of the WHA. Referendum In 1982 a referendum was held to

decide between the two different hydro schemes. TWS launched No Dams campaign. Voters to write no dams on ballot paper rather than choose a hydro scheme. 33% of votes read no dams. Construction vs Blockade

Despite these pressures the State Govt began construction of the dam in 1982. Environmentalists performed a peaceful blockade resulting in the arrest of around 1400 people including David Bellamy and Bob Brown. These two in particular generated valuable publicity around the world.

Election Time In 1983 a Federal Election occurred. The Federal Government saw some easy votes if they stopped the damming. Bob Hawke leader of the Aust Labour Party promised to stop damming if voted in as Prime Minister.

State vs Federal Hawke was elected and made efforts to stop the dam. Federal Govt instructed the Tasmanian Govt to stop damming. They refused and continued. High Court Ruling The issue between State and

Federal Govt was taken to the High Court. A High Court Ruling was made to stop the damming and construction ceased in 1983. Bibliography Black, Geary, Gough & Pleasants (2002) Outdoor & Enviro Studies

VCE Units 1-4 The Franklin Dams Case Video

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