Skip to main content

Our Successes

The Wilderness Society was formed in 1976 by a small group of volunteers committed to protecting the wilderness values of south-west Tasmania.

Our involvement in the campaign against damming Tasmania’s Franklin River soon saw our group gain a national profile. By 1980, under the directorship of Dr. Bob Brown, we extended our reach and began campaigning for the protection of wild places all over Australia. 

Since then, the Wilderness Society has been a key player in Australia’s most famous environmental campaigns. Here, we want to share the stories of some of our most unforgettable wins.

View an interactive timeline of our key successes!


The Franklin (1979-1983)

The campaign to save Tasmania's Franklin River from damming more than 30 years ago was a watershed moment, and the shores of the Franklin gave birth to the Wilderness Society as a national force. As a result of this campaign, a High Court decision was made to "Let the Franklin run free".  Learn more>


Ningaloo (2001-2003)

Proposed construction of a resort on Western Australia's Ningaloo Reef marked the beginning of marine campaigning for the Wilderness Society. Quashing the development was the first of many victories demonstrating that we must care for our oceans as we do our land. Learn more>


Gunns Pulp Mill (2004-2009)

In a pre-emptive strike designed to cripple the green movement before announcing plans for a new pulp mill, Gunns sued 20 people -  five of our staff - over our campaign to protect forests. Following mass rallies, public outcry and exposure of corruption, we garnered nationwide support, and community pressure simply wouldn't allow the pulp mill to go ahead.  Learn more>


Arkaroola (2007-2012)

Plans to mine uranium at South Australia's Arkaroola - a multi award-winning Wilderness Sanctuary 600km north of Adelaide - saw us form alliances with a broad cross section of the community. Five years of relentless campaigning culminated in the Arkaroola Protection Act, and today, Arkaroola is being considered for National and World Heritage listing. Learn more>


James Price Point (2008-2013)

James Price Point in Western Australia's Kimberley region is rich with Indigenous culture, diverse wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes. The people of Broome banded together to oppose the largest gas processing plant in history being built on this sacred land. In early 2013, the proponents pulled out of the project sparking celebrations that reverberated around Australia and the world. Learn more>


Tasmanian Forest Agreement (2012)

After decades of conflict between forestry and conservation groups, a real path forward was realised for Tasmania's irreplaceable forests. Despite challenges thrown down by Tasmania's Upper House, the legislation was passed and will deliver formal protection for new national parks and reserves. Learn more>