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Encyclopedia > Franklin Dam

The Franklin Dam or Gordon-below-Franklin Dam project was a proposed dam on the Gordon River in Tasmania, Australia, for the purposes of hydroelectricity. This would have subsequently destroyed the environmentally sensitive Franklin River, which joined the Gordon nearby. During the campaign against the dam, both areas were World Heritage listed. This work is copyrighted. ... This work is copyrighted. ... Rock Island Bend Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River is a photograph by Peter Dombrovskis. ... Peter Dombrovskis (1945– 28 March 1996) was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. ... The Tasmanian Wilderness Society was formed initially as a protest group to fight against the looming construction of the Franklin Dam, in Southwest Tasmania. ... The Gordon River is one of the major rivers of Tasmania. ... Emblems: Flora - Tasmanian Blue Gum; Mineral - Crocoite Motto: Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Slogan or Nickname: The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Const. ... Hydraulic turbine and electrical generator. ... The Franklin River lies in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. ... Elabana Falls is in Lamington National Park, part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves World Heritage site in Queensland, Australia. ...


The campaign that followed led to the consolidation of the small green movement that had been born out of the campaign against the building of three dams on Lake Pedder in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Over the five years between the announcement of the dam proposal in 1978 and the axing of the plans in 1983, there was vigorous debate between the pro-and-anti-dam lobbies, with large protests from both sides. Old Lake Pedder, 1970 Lake Pedder is a lake located in the southwest of Tasmania, Australia and consists of a large water catchment contained by three dams. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In December 1982, the dam site was occupied by protesters, leading to widespread arrests and greater publicity. The dispute became a federal issue the following March, when a campaign in the national print media, assisted by the pictures of photographer Peter Dombrovskis, helped bring down the government of Malcolm Fraser at the 1983 election. The new government, under Bob Hawke, had promised to stop the dam from being built. A legal battle between the federal government and Tasmanian state government followed, resulting in a landmark High Court ruling in the Federal government's favour. 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Peter Dombrovskis (1945– 28 March 1996) was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. ... This article is about the former Prime Minister of Australia; for the Western Australian public servant, see Malcolm Fraser (surveyor). ... Robert James Lee Hawke AC (born 9 December 1929) is a former Australian trade union leader turned politician who became the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia. ... Emblems: Flora - Tasmanian Blue Gum; Mineral - Crocoite Motto: Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Slogan or Nickname: The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Const. ... High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ...

Contents

Announcement of the plans

In 1978, the Tasmanian Hydro Electric Commission announced their intention to build the dam. The idea polarised the Tasmanian community. It gained support from some sections of the community for generating jobs in an area of the state that was struggling economically. It was suggested that the construction of the dam would assist in bringing industry to Tasmania, on top of the jobs that it would create directly. The initial opinion polls showed around 70% support for the dam. 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... Hydro Tasmania is the predominant electricity generator in the state of Tasmania, Australia. ...


However, the protest movement which had gathered to fight the construction of the Lake Pedder Dam earlier in the 1970s began to reassemble in response to the announcement. The Tasmanian Wilderness Society, under activist Bob Brown, which had formed from the anti-Lake Pedder Dam groups, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and the Australian Conservation Foundation began to mount a public interest campaign concerning the river. The photographs of Dombrovskis and his colleague, Olegas Truchanas, attracted significant attention. The campaign generated 30,000 letters of support in a fortnight. A film, The Last Wild River, was shown on Tasmania's two commercial television stations. Old Lake Pedder, 1970 Lake Pedder is a lake located in the southwest of Tasmania, Australia and consists of a large water catchment contained by three dams. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The Tasmanian Wilderness Society was formed initially as a protest group to fight against the looming construction of the Franklin Dam, in Southwest Tasmania. ... Bob Brown Robert James Brown (born December 27, 1944), is an Australian Senator, the inaugural Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens and one of the first openly homosexual members of the Parliament of Australia, in addition to Brian Greig. ... Tasmanian Conservation Trust is a Tasmanian based non-profit conservation organisation, formed in 1968. ... The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is an Australian non-profit, community-based environmental group focused on advocacy, policy research and community education for environmental reform and ecologically sustainable development. ... Olegas Truchanas (1923 - January 6, 1972) was a Lithuanian-Australian conservationist and nature photographer. ...


In June, 1980, an estimated 10,000 people marched through the streets of Hobart, demanding that the government not proceed with construction. This was the largest rally in the history of the state. 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...


Attempts at compromise

The Labor state government, under Premier Doug Lowe, backed down from the original proposal, and agreed to place the Franklin River in a new Wild Rivers National Park. Instead of the original proposal, Lowe now backed an alternative - the 'Gordon-above-Olga' scheme. While this was above the Gordon's junction with the Franklin, it still would have destroyed a large chunk of wilderness. This compromise did not appease the environmental groups, who maintained a policy of no dams in southwest Tasmania. There have been a number of people named Doug Lowe: Douglas Lowe, British Olympic athlete Doug Lowe, former Tasmanian premier Doug Lowe, author of computing-related books This is a disambiguation page — a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers is a national park in Tasmania (Australia), 117 km west of Hobart. ...


In July, both the pro-dam and anti-dam groups (the former of which also included the union movement) initiated an advertising blitz in Tasmania. The HEC claimed that up to 10,000 potential jobs would be lost if the dam was not built.


The Liberal-controlled Legislative Council then blocked the Labor government's 'Gordon-above-Olga' compromise, instead insisting that they proceed with the original proposal. The two parties could not agree on a solution, which lead to a deadlock between the two houses of parliament. The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian liberal conservative political party. ...


Inquiry, referendum and election

In 1981, Australian Democrats Senator Don Chipp initiated a Senate inquiry into "the natural values of south-west Tasmania to Australia and the world" and "the federal responsibility in assisting Tasmania to preserve its wilderness areas of national and international importance". 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Australian Democrats (in regular parlance, just the Democrats), is an Australian social liberal party formed in 1977 from the earlier Australia Party by Don Chipp, who left the Liberal Party of Australia to do so. ... Donald Leslie Chipp (21 August 1925 - 28 August 2006) was an Australian politician. ...


In early 1981, Aboriginal caves were discovered, in the area which would be flooded if the dam were to be built. The area contained important Aboriginal hand stencils, as well as remnants of campfires and stone tools that were between 8,000 and 24,000 years old. Concerns also began to be raised about habitat loss for endangered species. 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On December 12, 1981, the state government called a referendum in an attempt to break the deadlock. The referendum gave voters only two choices: one for each dam proposal. 47% voted in favour of the original scheme, 8% for the compromise, and 45% voted informally.[1] There had been a significant campaign for voters to write 'No dams' instead of either sanctioned option, and it has been said that more than a third of voters did this. December 12 is the 346th day (347th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 19 days remaining. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The ongoing crisis resulted in the replacement of Lowe as premier by Harry Holgate, a Labor politician who was markedly more supportive of the dam proposals. In response, both Lowe and Mary Willey, another Labor MP, resigned from the party and sat in the parliament as independents. This resulted in the loss of a Labor majority in the lower house. Norm Sanders, an Australian Democrats MP and anti-dam campaigner, moved a no-confidence motion, and a state election was called for May 15. Harold Norman Holgate (Born Maitland, December 5, 1933; Died March 16, 1997) was Premier of Tasmania December 11, 1981 to May 26, 1982. ... Norman Karl Sanders (b. ... The Australian Democrats (in regular parlance, just the Democrats), is an Australian social liberal party formed in 1977 from the earlier Australia Party by Don Chipp, who left the Liberal Party of Australia to do so. ... May 15 is the 135th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (136th in leap years). ...


The Holgate Labor government was defeated by the strongly pro-dam Liberal Party under Robin Gray. The new Premier immediately ordered the original plan to go ahead and passed the necessary legislation. Gray attempted to dissuade the federal government from intervening by threatening to secede from the Commonwealth if they did so. Perhaps as a result, the federal government initially declined to intervene in the dispute. The Hon. ...


Blockade

"No Dams" Triangle
"No Dams" Triangle

As a response to this announcement, rallies were held in a number of cities around Australia. Bob Brown toured the country attempting to raise support for the anti-dam campaign, in order to convince Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to intervene and override the state legislation allowing the dam's construction. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article is about the former Prime Minister of Australia; for the Western Australian public servant, see Malcolm Fraser (surveyor). ...


In November 1982, the conflict stepped up a notch when Brown announced that a blockade of the dam site would begin on December 14. On the same day, the UNESCO committee in Paris was due to list the Tasmanian wild rivers as a World Heritage site. The blockade drew an estimated 2500 people, from not only Tasmania, but also from interstate and overseas. This resulted in the subsequent proclamation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which covered both the Franklin and Gordon Rivers. However, Tasmania itself was still divided, with a pro-dam rally in Hobart also attracting around 2500 people. While the blockade was ongoing, Norm Sanders resigned from the House of Assembly to contest a Senate seat. He was replaced in the assembly by Bob Brown, who had only been released the previous day after spending three weeks in jail for his role in the blockade. 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 14 is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... View of the Hobart downtown district and Mt Wellington from Constitution Dock Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. ... The House of Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of Tasmania in Australia. ... Australian Senate chamber Entrance to the Senate The Senate is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia. ... Bob Brown Robert James Brown (born December 27, 1944), is an Australian Senator, the inaugural Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens and one of the first openly homosexual members of the Parliament of Australia, in addition to Brian Greig. ...


Throughout January, around 50 people arrived at the blockade each day. The government made things difficult for the protesters, passing several laws and enforcing special bail conditions for those arrested. Bulldozers were unloaded at the site from a barge under the protection of police. A total of 1217 arrests were made, many simply for being present at the blockade. Protesters impeded machinery and occupied sites associated with the construction work. Nearly 500 people were imprisoned for breaking the terms of their bail. This caused an overflow of prisons in the region. British botanist David Bellamy was jailed, which gave the dispute international attention. The author John Marsden, after being arrested at the blockade, was placed in the high-security Risdon Prison for a night, as there was nowhere else to hold him. David Bellamy Professor David J. Bellamy OBE (born 18 January 1933) is an English botanist, author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner. ... John Marsden (born September 27, 1950) is an Australian writer. ... HM Prison Risdon is a prison facility located in Risdon Vale, Tasmania, Australia. ...


Members of the bands Goanna and Redgum put together the song Let The Franklin Flow, which became an anthem of the campaign. In February, a Hobart rally against the dam drew approximately 20,000 people. On March 1, the movement launched a day of action, which they labelled 'Green Day'. 231 people were arrested as a flotilla of boats took to the Gordon River. In Hobart, the Wilderness Society flag was flown above the HEC building. Goanna was one of the founding members of an Australian folk-rock movement in which social protest was integrated with popular music. ... Redgum were an Australian folk and political music group. ... March 1 is the 60th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (61st in leap years). ...


March 2 saw the publication of a full page colour advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age newspapers of what would become an iconic photo - Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River by Peter Dombrovskis. It was accompanied by the caption "Could you vote for a party that would destroy this?" March 2 is the 61st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (62nd in leap years). ... Rock Island Bend Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River is a photograph by Peter Dombrovskis. ... Peter Dombrovskis (1945– 28 March 1996) was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. ...


Resolution

On March 5, the Australian Labor Party won the federal election with a large swing; however in Tasmania the vote went against the national trend and the Liberals held all five seats. The new Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, had vowed to stop the dam from being constructed, and it has been suggested that the controversy over the dam helped to bring down the Liberal government of Malcolm Fraser. The new government passed the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act, which overrode the state legislation. March 5 is the 64th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (65th in leap years). ... The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is Australias oldest political party. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... Robert James Lee Hawke AC (born 9 December 1929) is a former Australian trade union leader turned politician who became the 23rd Prime Minister of Australia. ... This article is about the former Prime Minister of Australia; for the Western Australian public servant, see Malcolm Fraser (surveyor). ...


However, the Tasmanian government appealed the decision to the High Court, claiming that the federal government had no powers under the Constitution to pass the legislation. They claimed that as the right to legislate for the environment was not named in the Constitution, and was thus a residual power, that the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act was unconstitutional. The federal government, however, claimed that they had the right to do so, under the 'external affairs' provision of the Constitution, as by blocking the dam's construction, they were fulfilling their responsibilities under an international treaty. High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ...


The resulting court case became known as Commonwealth v Tasmania. On July 1, 1983, in a landmark ruling, the High Court ruled by a vote of 4–3 in the federal government's favour. This ruling gave the federal government the power to legislate on any issue if it was necessary to enforce an international treaty, and has been the subject of controversy ever since. The High Court ruling ended the dam's construction, and the plans have never been revived. Commonwealth v Tasmania (1983) 158 CLR 1, (popularly known as the Tasmanian Dam Case) was a significant Australian court case, decided in the High Court of Australia on July 1, 1983. ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The demise of plans for the Franklin dam also largely ended the building of dams for the generation of hydroelectricity in Australia.


However the dam making by the Hydro was not finished. The Hydro was still able to construct a 'compromise' power development scheme on the nearby King River and Henty River to compensate for the loss of the potential power generation from the Franklin scheme. Further on in time the West Coast Wilderness Railway - the reconstruction of the old Mount Lyell Abt Railway between Queenstown and Regatta point, was mainly financed by compensation funds allocated to the Tasmanian Government for the "loss" of the Franklin River or Gordon River dams. The King River is a river on the west coast of Tasmania. ... The West Coast Wilderness Railway, Tasmania is a reconstruction of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company railway between Queenstown and Regatta Point. ... Municipality of West Coast Local Government Areas of Tasmania For other places by the same name, see Queenstown. ...


References

  1. Thompson, Peter. Power in Tasmania. Australian Conservation Foundation, 1981.
  2. Thompson, Peter. Bob Brown of the Franklin River. HarperCollins Publishers, 1984.
  3. The Franklin Blockade. Wilderness Society, 1983.
  4. Connolly, Bob. The fight for the Franklin: the story of Australia's last wild river, 1981.
  5. Green, Roger. Battle for the Franklin. Fontana/ACF

External links

  • History of The Franklin River Campaign - (from the Wilderness Society)
  • Proposed location of the Franklin Dam on Google Maps
  • Graham Himmelhoch-Mutton's Franklin River Blockade Page
  • Context of World Heritage Area

  Results from FactBites:
 
Franklin Dam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1802 words)
The photograph Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River, by Peter Dombrovskis, was used by the Tasmanian Wilderness Society in advertising.
The Franklin Dam or Gordon-below-Franklin Dam project was a proposed dam on the Gordon River in Tasmania, Australia, for the purposes of hydroelectricity.
Over the five years between the announcement of the dam proposal in 1978 and the axing of the plans in 1983, there was vigorous debate between the pro-and-anti-dam lobbies, with large protests from both sides.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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