Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

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Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby tasadam » Thu 30 Apr, 2009 9:55 am

I hold some great memories of the Franklin River since I started walking in Tasmania. I didn't come to Tassie until 1985, so what went on in the early 1980's was without me.
Every time I see the Franklin, every time I study a photo of it, or if I reflect on being there, I feel a powerful emotion. The hairs on the back of my neck might stand up, or I get goosebumps, or I might get a tear, particularly if I reflect on the fact that they were going to destroy it. Depends on the mood too. It's easy to get lost in thought when you think how close we all came to losing it, then to stand there and see it, to feel at one with nature in this place, and to appreciate its beauty and uniqueness, is truly a privilege. I am lucky that I can go to these places.
What about that famous photo of Rock Island Bend? (Two other copies with quite different colour here and here.)
I suppose my feelings of the Franklin stem from my first walk to it, my first overnight walk in Tasmania some 20 years ago - 4 days and 3 nights, and I got to swim across the river in light rain as part of that journey.
More recently, the very special day I spent camped at the Irenabyss for two nights, having a whole leisure day there. Photos from that walk in this topic.
And most recently, the trip past Mt McCall to the Franklin River (here), where I was able to take this photo...
Image

I remember last year on the radio, there was a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the high court decision. I remember sitting in my car listening to a reflection of events of the time.
I have come across a very interesting read on the internet - on the Wilderness Society site, here.
As well, there are two Youtube videos - a documentary of the Franklin River blockade. Part 1 and Part 2.
Lots of related links on Youtube as well.
Then there's Wikipedia.

Do you remember it? Were you involved? Did you even get arrested?
I thought I would start this topic to air my feelings about it and see whether it is indeed a common feeling. Share with us your feelings and stories on this mighty river.
As well, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly and unashamedly take my hat off and bow my head in respect and thanks to those that assisted in its saving.
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Re: Franklin River

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 30 Apr, 2009 10:20 am

I was too young (11 or 12 y.o.) to get seriously involved. However, my "No Dams" sticker was the favourite amongst all the other stickers above my bed for a while, and I did participate in a protest march in Launceston with my mum.

Having more recently visited some parts of the Franklin that would have been under water if the dam went ahead, I'm very grateful for the effort that other people put in to save the river. It's a truly magnificent area.
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Re: Franklin River

Postby sthughes » Thu 30 Apr, 2009 4:44 pm

I wasn't born so I missed out on all the fun :(

Would have made a magnificent lake and an excellent source of clean renewable energy and it's a shame that it proved states have no legal rights.

Of course it would have drowned a fantasic piece of wilderness to.

I like massive engineering stuff and the I like the wilderness so I'm a fence sitter on if the dam should have gone ahead or not. Maybe a smaller (say 60m high) dam would have been a goer in my opinion. :twisted: (Don't hate me!)

Either way the fact peaceful(ish) "people power" stopped it against all odds is a pretty cool story in itself.
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Re: Franklin River

Postby flyfisher » Thu 30 Apr, 2009 8:37 pm

STH Wrote " Either way the fact peaceful(ish)"people power"stopped it against all odds is a pretty cool story in itself.

Lets hope history repeats itself in the Tamar Valley . :wink:

:twisted: :twisted: Please let us hate you :twisted: :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol:

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Franklin River

Postby sthughes » Thu 30 Apr, 2009 9:09 pm

Hmmm careful FF were not in the Contoversy Corner here! :P
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Re: Franklin River

Postby flyfisher » Thu 30 Apr, 2009 9:29 pm

Just joshing mate :D :D
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Re: Franklin River

Postby corvus » Thu 30 Apr, 2009 11:08 pm

Oh Yea ???? :? :? :lol: :lol:
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Re: Franklin River

Postby flyfisher » Fri 01 May, 2009 6:30 am

Beware the crow :shock: :P
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Re: Franklin River

Postby flyfisher » Fri 01 May, 2009 6:45 am

On a more serious note I find it comforting to know that this iconic river is still there in it's natural state.
I didn't get arrested nor even make the blockade due to the constraints of a young family etc. but had I been born in a different room I would have been there.
I did manage to attend and march in a huge anti-dam rally in Hobart which finished in front of parliament house.
I would now think that I am in the same boat as Corvus and our boat is too old and leaky to attempt the downriver but It's nice to know that it's still there for the younger and more adventure seeking members.
(Please bring us back some pics though)

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Re: Franklin River

Postby Tony » Fri 01 May, 2009 9:01 am

Hi tasdam,

Thanks for a great post and great pictures, I have checked all of the links out, brought back some memories.

A few years ago I flew over the Franklin River area sight seeing in a sea plane and we landed near the proposed dam site, so glad that it was saved. Unfortunately my picture of what is left of the dam road works did not turn out very good otherwise I would have posted it.

I still remember writing "No Dams" on my ACT Legislative Assembly mid-1982 election ballot paper (my small part).

thanks

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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby tasadam » Fri 01 May, 2009 10:48 am

There has been some discussion on a helipad on the Mt McCall road, there was a picture of a large yellow No Dams painting on it. It was discussed here somewhere but I cannot find the post.
No matter, I took my own.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby tas-man » Thu 07 May, 2009 3:22 am

Courtesy of a a recent trip down the Franklin River by LWC member Matt Brain, here is a link to his latest YouTube video of "Drifting Through the Irenabyss" in HD Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay1Y6Zhw3ws Set your monitor to full screen and turn the sound up! Enjoy this limited 2D virtual experience.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby tastrekker » Sun 17 May, 2009 1:44 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading the Wilderness Society's account of events and it brought a tear to my eye.

The High Court decision was handed down when I was 11. My teacher took the whole class out to watch it live on telly.

A year earlier, the 30 metre long platypus, Franklin came to stay at my house - well on the street outside at least. They also had 2 giant inflatible platypi called Olga and Denison once of which was inflated in my loungeroom much to the delight of my brothers and I. Attending the rally in Hobart was one of the greatest thrills I can remember as a youngster.

I still haven't seen the Franklin appart from the tiny glimpse you get alongside the nature walk at Wombat Glen. However, I dream that one day, perhaps post-children, my wife and I will do the rafting trip or at least pop in to the Irenabys or Propsting Gorge.

While there is no way I could ever wish this on such a globally significant wilderness area, people may be interested to know that the Gordon-below-Franklin dam was just one of a heap of dams proposed for the area. The entire King, Franklin and Gordon River systems were to have been diverted south via various dams and power stations to a final dam and power station to be located in the Davey Gorge at Port Davey. In fact, Lake Burbury has been designed so the Crotty dam could be removed and the Franklin Dam at Mount McCall could be linked up. What a scary thought!

It was great to read the throughts of Sthughes and I share a similar fascination for large engineering projects. You can probably tell that from my previous paragraph. However, my passion for wilderness is much stronger in this case. Well done for sharing your thoughts so honestly Sthughes.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby north-north-west » Sun 17 May, 2009 11:38 pm

Ahhh, them was the days. *nostalgic smile*

I did enjoy my little stopover in Queenstown this trip - at least the Miner's Siding. The little panels on the fountain were fascinating. Look, there are the Salvos giving the cops hot soup during the Dam protests. Not a grotty smelly protester in sight . . .
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby Taurë-rana » Tue 19 May, 2009 1:14 pm

I marched in the rally, hiked into Hartz Peak with food for the protestors, and was so proud of my parents when they voted "No Dams". I was too young to vote.
The closest I've been to the river is wading it to get back from Frenchmans Cap, and driving in on the Mt McCall track then walking down. I don't know if I'll ever raft it, it's a nice idea though.
Did you know that instead of damming Lake Pedder, they could have put a canal through the hills? I read that at the Gordon Dam info area.
I'm also impressed by the engineering - the Gordon Dam is an amazing feat, and hydo is certainly a good, clean power source, but we have lost so much wilderness that I believe we should make every effort not to lose any more.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby tasadam » Fri 29 May, 2009 1:25 pm

I found this PDF file discussing the geographical make-up of the lower reaches of the Gordon, drafted in 1969. (file is 12.7Mb)
I wonder what they were thinking? :wink:

On the topic of the lower reaches, you're all familiar with Horseshoe Bend?
(Note, the following note is meant as sick comedy and not to see the topic moved into Controversy Corner)
Here it is before they got to it.

Horseshoe Bend on the Gordon River after Forestry let Gunns in there for a few hours. (dead link)

And a day and a half later
:twisted: :lol:
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby north-north-west » Fri 29 May, 2009 7:20 pm

You're an evil man, Adam.

Must be why I like you . . .
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby MichaelP » Fri 03 Jul, 2009 7:35 pm

definetly on the to do list!!!!! amazing
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby Liamy77 » Sun 20 Feb, 2011 12:19 pm

well.... even a small dam woulda flooded a bunch of neolithic sites, habitat, the river banks.... and the engineers,and
'damn" workers mysteriously chained up there overnight... :twisted: besides we have lake pedder - how much does a small population NEED?
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby juju » Sun 20 Feb, 2011 1:08 pm

tasadam wrote:I hold some great memories of the Franklin River since I started walking in Tasmania. I didn't come to Tassie until 1985, so what went on in the early 1980's was without me.
Every time I see the Franklin, every time I study a photo of it, or if I reflect on being there, I feel a powerful emotion. The hairs on the back of my neck might stand up, or I get goosebumps, or I might get a tear, particularly if I reflect on the fact that they were going to destroy it. Depends on the mood too. It's easy to get lost in thought when you think how close we all came to losing it, then to stand there and see it, to feel at one with nature in this place, and to appreciate its beauty and uniqueness, is truly a privilege. I am lucky that I can go to these places.

I feel the same.
I was involved with the Wilderness Society back then. I assisted in my work as a commercial artist. I went to some packed 'information sessions'. It was a very well run campaign. I didn't protest in Tassie or get arrested, I was in Tassie at the time and stood with protesters in Strahn. We left the campground there after a night of terror when yahoos drove at speed and dangerously through the grounds yelling and screaming for greenies to 'go home'.
In our wanderings down there we came across what we saw to be a 'failed' dam. A smallish concrete dam on a smallish river, which was dried up and miserable, the environment desolate and dead. I wonder about the long term effects of a dam on the environment - I don't know how these things work but the erratic behaviour of the water course must be quite disturbing to the flora and fauna who can't use their natural senses to predict the changes there anymore.
I'm not a Luddite but maybe we could do these things with more consideration and planning so we get a win/win for all species.
There was a flying fox across the Franklyn to Federation Peak back then. Is it still there?
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 20 Feb, 2011 1:22 pm

juju wrote:There was a flying fox across the Franklyn to Federation Peak back then. Is it still there?



Do you mean Frenchmans?? The Franklin river and Federation peak are long distances away from one another. :wink:
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby juju » Mon 21 Feb, 2011 4:18 pm

:oops: Got my F's mixed up - always do...and, well, maybe it's because I'm a long distance away? thanks for setting me straight!
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby Stibb » Thu 22 Sep, 2011 10:33 pm

I found a great video on Peter Dombrovskis first visit to the Gordon Splits
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2E9fM7ni ... re=related

it's the same video posted in this great thread (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=699&p=100387#p100387) but more appropriate here I guess. And then I wanted to bump this thread too :mrgreen:
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby stepbystep » Fri 23 Sep, 2011 7:54 am

Stibb, track down a copy of 'Wildness' on DVD if you want goosebumps and are interested in PD and Olegas. PM me if you can't find it. Stunning!
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders ~ Edward Abbey
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby Stibb » Fri 23 Sep, 2011 8:32 am

Is this the one ILUV have? If so, it's tracked down :wink: If not, I'll give it a chase or get back to you, thanks :)
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby stepbystep » Fri 23 Sep, 2011 9:05 am

Stibb wrote:Is this the one ILUV have?


That's it, fantastic! It was made by the same people who made 'Whatever happened to Brenda Hean' also worth a look.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby cmc2234 » Sat 01 Oct, 2011 5:54 pm

We did the Franklin River in Feb/March 1983 when it was fairly novel thing to do. No guided trips & "track/river notes" were quite hard to find.

At the time, there was a lot of controversy, with protesters living on the banks of the Gordon River where the Denison Star turned around. It reached the point that the Tasmanian government banned camping on the banks so that the protesters would go away (not so, they moved & then lived on a barge in the river). All this legislation was enacted whilst we were rafting the Franklin. So we came out onto the Gordon to stay the night & get picked up by the Denison Star the next day, to find we were almost arrested by the Police because we pitched our tents in this wonderful camping ground (which we found out later had been abandoned by the protesters when they were forced to live on the river). I had to do some quick talking to the Police to clear the way for us to stay the night without an infringement notice & heavy fines....

I was also very fortunate to be on an exploratory caving trip at the end of 1974 with SSS & TCS where we searched for caves in the limestone areas alongside the Franklin & Gordon Rivers. We found the (now famous) cave with the aboriginal bones which was (later) instrumental in creating the National Park along the river.

Oh, some very historical moments I have been involved in....

I can remember another trip, we went in Paddies in Hobart in the late 1970s and asked for maps to walk into Frenchmans, down to & across the Franklin to Mt McCall Rd & Queenstown. They looked at us, as if we were crazy & said it couldn't be done. I'm sure that there have been a few people who have done that now.

Lot of great walking & history in the area - still to be done.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby tas-man » Sun 02 Oct, 2011 7:57 pm

If you have photos/slides of that trip down the Franklin and other trips in that era, it would be great to see them on the forum.
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby Stibb » Sun 02 Oct, 2011 9:57 pm

++++1 ^^^^^
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Re: Franklin River (possibly lots of pics)

Postby tas-man » Thu 18 Jul, 2013 2:44 pm

Thread 'bump" - a link to the 1980 "Franklin River Journey featuring Tony Moscal is here on this thread - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11039&sid=ee07971cc37c96d82421d50fce4781c4#p187491
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