Today is the fortieth anniversary of the listing of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. News of the listing came through as the Tasmanian Wilderness Society’s blockade of the Franklin dam works began, centred in Strahan, on 14 December 1983.
The Bob Brown Foundation has called on Prime Minister Albanese to ‘complete the job’ of establishing the ultimate Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area by nominating takayna / Tarkine and other contiguous areas in western Tasmania and restoring Lake Pedder.
“Tasmania has one of the most valued, famous and diverse of all the more than 1,000 World Heritage sites around the globe,” Bob Brown said yesterday. “But there is a missing quarter. The takayna/Tarkine rainforest, a kaleidoscope of wildlife and priceless, ancient Aboriginal heritage, if added to the existing 1.584 million hectares property, will bring international acclaim when it is done.”
“So too would the restoration of Lake Pedder. What a gift to the planet on this 40th anniversary, if Minister Plibersek would nominate its restoration as the Australian flagship project in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”, said Christine Milne who congratulated all the activists and campaigners who marched for the rivers and forests over the past forty years.
“People power forced the original listing and by putting Greens in balance of power in 1989 and in 2010, major extensions were secured including the awe inspiring forests along the eastern boundary. When the forested area was threatened by Prime Minister Abbott, people marched again to secure it, just as they have done recently to prevent the destruction of wilderness values at Lake Malbena,” Christine Milne said.
“While it was Tasmanian Labor Premier Doug Lowe who drew up the original nomination, and Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser who officially promoted it to the World Heritage Committee in Paris, Bob Hawke was the new Prime Minister who used the listing to save the Franklin River from damming in 1983. Forty Years later Prime Minister Anthony Albanese should complete the task by nominating the ‘Missing Quarter’, including the Tarkine, by restoring Lake Pedder, by funding the ongoing protection of wilderness values in the face of increased risk of fire and damage from feral animals and by preventing commercial development,” Bob Brown said.
Bob Brown Foundation has launched an online card today for activists, campaigners, organisations and concerned citizens to sign on, calling on Prime Minister Albanese and Federal Environment Minister Plibersek to extend, enhance, restore and secure the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
“Our wilderness is the envy of the world, let’s keep it that way by enhancing its resilience, protecting what is unprotected and securing it for future generations,” Milne said.