Hawke recalls Franklin campaign

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July 2013 marked the 30th anniversary of the Australian High Court’s decision to stop the building of the Franklin Dam in Tasmania’s wild south-west. The Court divided 4-3 in favour of upholding the Commonwealth’s intervention to override Tasmania’s approval of the dam.
Bob Hawke was elected PM in March 1983 on a platform of stopping the dam – and as he recalled in conversation with Peter Thompson – Labor lost all five seats in Tasmania. Such losses, according to Hawke, were more than made up by gains on the mainland.
A celebration to mark the anniversary was held in Sydney by the ALP’s new Labor Environment Activist Network and was attended by federal Environment Minister, Mark Butler, as well as former Hawke era ministers, John Brown and Stewart West.
Bob Hawke sparkled with wit and passion, reminding the audience that “leadership is about leading, not following.”
Peter Thompson toiled for three years on the ‘no dams’ effort for the Australian Conservation Foundation and credits the campaign for developing his passion for teaching communication and leadership.