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Worth the fight

TASMANIA'S west coast is one of the world's wildest places, a sparsely inhabited region with rugged mountain ranges, ancient trees more than 2000 years old, dramatic mountain peaks, beautiful rainforest and deep river valleys.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area protects one of the last true wilderness regions on earth, and encompasses a greater range of natural and cultural values than any other region on the planet.

This ruggedly beautiful place is largely untouched and inaccessible except by air, on foot or by the river, preserved thanks to the efforts of conservationists in the early 1980s who fought vigorously against a proposed hydro-electric dam on the Gordon River.

Over three months about 6000 protesters blockaded the river and construction roads. So passionate were the protesters, and so aggressive were the police, that in the summer of 1982-83 a total of 1272 people were arrested, including Australian Greens leader Bob Brown. The protest not only saved two of the world's most beautiful rivers, but effectively kick-started the green movement in Australia.


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