News - 03 July 2023

Importance of wilderness & World Heritage acknowledged by Minister Plibersek on Franklin 40th anniversary

Forty years on from the momentous high court decision to prevent the damming of the Franklin River during the Hawke Labor Government era, Australia’s current Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek MP, shared a message of support and celebration.

From left: Tabatha Badger, Master of Ceremonies and Convenor, Wilderness Society Tasmania; Geoff Law, World Heritage consultant; Cassy O’Connor MP, Tasmanian Greens Leader; Pierre Slicer, legal advisor to Franklin campaign (and subsequent Supreme Court Judge); Christine Milne, former Australian Greens Leader; Bob Brown; Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager, Bob Brown Foundation; Michael Mansell, Palawa Leader; Tom Allen, Campaign Manager, Wilderness Society Tasmania

On 1 July 1983, Australia’s High Court sided with the Australian Government, led by Bob Hawke, and against the Tasmanian Government that was trying to dam the Franklin River.

The 40th anniversary of this landmark decision is still regarded as the definitive environmental protection campaign in modern Australian history.

Current Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek virtually joined a series of eminent speakers on the weekend, including Franklin River campaigners, Aboriginal leaders, legal advisers and Wilderness Society founders and staff.

“Wilderness Society welcomes Minister Plibersek’s timely comments about wilderness and World Heritage, and the importance of Federal Government leadership in protecting the environment,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society (Tasmania).

“Minister Plibersek reminds us all that it was the Hawke Government that was prepared to stand up for the Franklin River, and that it is important for governments to back nature by ensuring strong protections are fairly applied, and for conservation and cultural heritage to be fully restored to the primacy of decisions about World Heritage.

“This continent’s globally-significant landscapes have never needed more protection than they do today. The Franklin victory continues to bring people together. We look forward to more opportunities in future for environmentalists and nature-lovers of all backgrounds to celebrate environmental leadership together. Nature will be better off if we can,” said Mr Allen.

For further comment contact Tom Allen on 0434 614 323