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Thanks overlandman for posting the ABC link. Just in case this link dies someday, I have extracted these photos as a permanent record in this topic.
Draining Lake Pedder 50 years on gains environmental momentum, ABC Radio Hobart By Georgie Burgess. Posted October 05, 2019
"When an ancient glacial lake in a remote and wild part of Tasmania was flooded in 1972, a movement was born. Lake Pedder was inundated when a dam system was established in the state's south-west by the Hydro-Electric Commission, now Hydro Tasmania. The flooding turned it from a 10-square-kilometre lake to a 242-square-kilometre reservoir. "The heart of the south-west wilderness was lost when Lake Pedder was flooded," former Australian Greens leader Christine Milne said. "It represented the extreme of hydro industrialisation, and the loss of Lake Pedder in many ways led people to double their efforts to save the Franklin River from hydro in the following decade."
"A treasure beneath the surface
The world's first green political party evolved from the No Dams protests, which successfully stopped the damming of the Franklin River in 1983. Ms Milne, who was arrested and spent time in jail during the protest known as the Franklin Blockade, is part of a nostalgic campaign to restore Lake Pedder with the support of another former Greens leader Bob Brown. "It remains, underneath the impoundment, a magnificent beach, which was large enough to see light planes land on it during the summer," she said. "It was a magnificent natural area, unique and known throughout the world as a globally significant and iconic area. "To lose it was really gut-wrenching for people who love the Tasmanian wilderness."
The summer of 2021–22 will be 50 years since the flooding, which saw the white quartzite beach lost beneath the surface, and the Restore Pedder campaign now wants to pull the plug and drain the lake. If the ambitious project ever went ahead, it would be one of the world's largest ecological restorations. But draining a lake on the scale of Pedder would not be a simple task, and convincing Hydro Tasmania and the State Government may be all but impossible. The State Government argues that Lake Pedder is a vital part of Hydro Tasmania's renewable energy infrastructure and it is responsible for about 6 per cent of its total revenue, which is up to $30 million every year.
Then premier, 'Electric' Eric Reece, and the hydro commission pushed ahead with the flooding of Lake Pedder despite large protests and financial offers from prime minister Gough Whitlam. At the time, Mr Reece said Tasmania needed to double its output of power over 10 years to meet the state's economic and social needs. Lake Pedder's national park status was revoked and the Huon and Serpentine Rivers were dammed turning Lake Pedder into an impoundment and Tasmania's second largest lake.
The dam developments led to Tasmania's energy becoming almost 100 per cent renewable and while the state has been able to import coal power through Basslink since 2005 it proudly spruiks its clean, green power. Hydro Tasmania makes many millions selling its power interstate through Basslink, and has plans to expand its assets even further. Its goal is for Tasmania to be self-sufficient on hydro energy, while using fluctuating energy prices to its advantage. The Greens are often criticised for the party's past opposition to dams, in a landscape where clean renewable energy is now lauded.
Since the 1990s there have been campaigns and attempts to restore Lake Pedder to its pre-1972 level, including the Pedder 2000 campaign that wanted it drained by the turn of the millennium. A 1995 federal parliamentary inquiry examined the issue of draining Lake Pedder and found the case had merit, but it was unclear if the significant costs involved in restoration would be environmentally worth it. The inquiry's report labelled Lake Pedder's flooding as "unfortunate" and acknowledged it would not have been approved in 1995. The 50th anniversary of the flooding coincides with the launch of the United Nations Decade of Ecological Restoration 2021–2030. "It's absolutely critical that we adopt nature-based solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergencies that we now face," Ms Milne said.
"We have to get back to protecting what is left of the natural environment and restore as many forests, mangroves, peatlands, wetlands as we possibly can. "It's a perfect coming together of global efforts in ecological restoration and putting Tasmania out there on the global stage as an icon about what is achievable on the mistakes of the past." When asked if the Greens and environmentalists needed the Pedder campaign to stay relevant, Ms Milne said the movement was more relevant than ever — with or without the campaign. She pointed to European parliamentary elections where green parties topped the polls in Brussels, Berlin and Dublin. Many of the original Lake Pedder protesters are no longer alive, but for the remaining wilderness lovers who remember the old Pedder the draining would heal old wounds. "For the broader community it is really that notion that it is possible to undo the extremes of the past and give the next generation hope that we can actually build resilience into ecosystems," Ms Milne said.
With failed attempts hanging over them, the campaigners are determined to get their case right. A large kayaking event is planned for February 2020 as the organisers ramp up efforts to raise awareness to the cause. Restore Pedder has recently raised $20,000 to fund advice from engineers, energy experts, and economists to model dam removal scenarios by June. "We will provide all of the evidence that is required," Ms Milne said. "We will need a strong restoration management plan, so that looks at science issues and all of the flora and fauna issues and the prospects of the area revegetating naturally or whether it would need re-seeding." While Lake Pedder does not have any energy assets attached to it, it makes up 42 per cent of the inflows to Lake Gordon, which powers the Gordon Power Station — Tasmania's largest. The combination of the two lakes is the largest storage of water in Australia. Lake Pedder provides 515 gigawatt hours of energy every year, and removing that amount of power from Tasmania's grid would have ramifications. Ms Milne pointed out Lake Pedder's contribution was about the same as the new 48-turbine Cattle Hill Windfarm in the Central Highlands. "It's not much in terms of what you'd need to replace the energy," she said.
Pedro wrote:And a few more mediocre scans of old slides: The Beach from the Frankland Range
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This was put on the beach towards the end. I wonder if its still there?
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There was a real down side to the enthusiasm generated by the campaign. Too many people visited the Lake without a thought to what they were doing.
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Pedro or any others on this site know whether this statue of truganini was left on the Pedder beach? If so would anyone be able to(via PM) send me approximate location? It's for a 'Restore Pedder' project. Many thanks.
Shared from the Facebook "Restore Lake Pedder" Page
Vale Elspeth Hope-Johnstone.
LPRC reflects upon the extraordinary life of environmental campaigner, educator and celebrated artist Elspeth Hope-Johnstone AO (nee Vaughan). Peacefully passing on Sunday morning, Elspeth leaves behind an inspiring legacy of generosity through her time on many boards and committees, tenacity through the turmoil of environmental activism, patience in education and artistic talent shared through many series of captivating water colour paintings. Exhibiting alongside Tasmanian legends; Max Angus, Patricia Giles and Harrie Buckie, together they founded the renown Sunday Painters Group. Elspeths’s distinctive style articulated every mood of Tasmanian landscapes, so accurately depicting our state as a translucent dream. A deep love of Tasmania’s wild corners kindled an unbreakable bond with the land that powered Elspeth’s passionate advocation to protect and conserve our wilderness. A life member of the LPRC, Elspeth gave much time and resources to the Lake Pedder campaign over the years; from walking into the original Lake on many weekends to supporting recent restoration efforts, Elspeth so generously donated her art works and photographs from her late husband Ralph Hope-Johnstone for the recent art exhibition to raise funds for the Restore Pedder movement which we are forever thankful for. We will forever fondly remember her smile, quick-wit and unshakable, enduring belief that Lake Pedder will, one day, be restored.
In February 2020 a crew explored the Pedder Impoundment with a submersible to gather footage and examine the condition of the original Lake Pedder Beach as a part of the Restore Pedder Campaign efforts. The results are extremely positive, with only a thin layer of sediment dusting the iconic pink quartzite beach. To learn more about the Restore Pedder campaign please visit lakepedder.org or follow @restorepedder on the various social media channels.
Last edited by tas-man on Sun 03 May, 2020 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Lake Pedder panorama, 1953 (Shared from Restore Lake Pedder FB page - Copyright Janette Asche) "My father bushwalked to Lake Pedder in south-west Tasmania in late December 1953 - early January 1954, well before it was flooded for hydro. The lake was very high due to lots of rain, so my father and his friends had to walk both ways rather than flying in as many people did in those days. The whole valley seen in this photo was flooded in the 1970s. There is a campaign to have it drained and bring back the beach and lake to its former glory. Guy Burns from Tasmania is making a film about Lake Pedder and wanted to use some of my father's slides. So I leant them to him for rescanning. He discovered that two of them made this wonderful panorama which I thought I'd share."
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Social Misfits Anonymous
Re: The ORIGINAL Lake Pedder
Sun 03 May, 2020 1:38 pm
tas-man wrote:In February 2020 a crew explored the Pedder Impoundment with a submersible to gather footage and examine the condition of the original Lake Pedder Beach as a part of the Restore Pedder Campaign efforts. The results are extremely positive, with only a thin layer of sediment dusting the iconic pink quartzite beach. To learn more about the Restore Pedder campaign please visit lakepedder.org or follow @restorepedder on the various social media channels.
Fascinating bit of footage, and a lovely little drone system. Be an interesting dive - limited viz, around 310m surface altitude, max depth . . . blimey, what would be the depth at the middle of the old lake?
Yes sbs it will be a great event. The original show had a profound effect on my parents, English migrants who saw it in 1970. It must have contributed to turning them into early Greenies. Living interstate then I missed it, but still remember the letter my mother wrote about it, so it's wonderful to have the chance to see it after 50 years. Many thanks to Melva and others.