On 1 July 1983, in a dramatic four-three decision, the High Court of Australia ruled to stop the damming of the Franklin River. It ended a long campaign that helped bring down two state premiers and a prime minister, as well as overseeing the rise of a new figure on the political landscape – the future founder of the Greens, Bob Brown.
But the battle for the Franklin River runs far deeper than simply providing the backdrop for a political tug-of-war.
In today’s episode of Essays on Air - the audio version of The Conversation’s Friday essay series - writer and historian Billy Griffiths reads his essay on how archaeology helped save the Franklin River. Its rich history and significance to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community made the proposed dam a controversy that captivated the nation.
Today’s episode was recorded and edited by Sybilla Gross. Find us and subscribe in Apple Podcasts, in Pocket Casts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Snow by David Szesztay
Cave Drips by everythingsounds
Climbing gear by Benboncan
Cave footsteps by Timbre
Cave River by jpdeglet69
Pottery sounds by Tumbleweed3288
Loud River by FractalStudios
Panting by Drkvixn91
Fire crackling by daenerys
Rain by acclivity
Howling Wind by DBlover
Newspaper by deleted_user_1116756
Parliament sounds by AusQuestionTime
Protest by dnlburnett
Rally clap by mw_1984
Correction: An earlier version of this story featured the wrong picture as its lead image. The error was made in the production process. The Conversation apologises for the mistake, and thanks readers who brought it to our attention.