The Franklin Dam

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  • Topic: Tasmania, Franklin Dam, South West Tasmania
  • Pages : 3 (745 words )
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  • Published : May 30, 2006
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The Franklin Dam

Franklin Dam

The Franklin Dam or Gordon-below-Franklin Dam project was an attempt to dam 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. 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. 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 government's favor. Announcement of the plans

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. In June, 1980, an estimated 10,000 people marched through the streets of Hobart, demanding that the government not to proceed with construction. This was the largest rally in the history of the state....
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