Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How the Franklin was saved Environmental Flows | Bob Brown | The Monthly

How the Franklin was saved Environmental Flows | Bob Brown | The Monthly:

Tens of thousands of tourists now flock to Tasmania’s wild-river areas each year, providing investment, jobs and pride of place for the locals. This year Outside, the US travel magazine, declared the Franklin the world’s best whitewater-rafting destination. So the Franklin has retained its global significance. But remove from the story Hawke, Lowe, Wran, Fraser, Morrison or Hamill, or Peter Dombrovskis, whose iconic photo of the Franklin’s Rock Island Bend lit up the campaign, let alone the thousands of Australians who protested, and the river and its surrounding rainforest would instead be a methane-emitting impoundment.

Thirty years after the blockade, Julia Gillard’s Labor government, backed by Tony Abbott’s Liberals, is responding to calls from the Business Council of Australia to reduce ‘green tape’, by moving to hand back to the states a parcel of federal powers held under the 1999 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. These powers include those that flowed from the Whitlam government’s ratification of the World Heritage Convention in 1975, and which were so boldly used by Hawke and upheld by the High Court. Unlike Whitlam or Hawke, it seems Gillard would have let Robin Gray dam the Franklin.

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