Nic Haygarth The Original Gordon-below-Franklin dispute: BHP, Beattie and the ‘Marble Cliffs’
People power stopped development of Tasmania’s lower Gordon River in 1914, almost 70 years before the famous Gordon-below-Franklin Dam Blockade. The proposed development was not a hydro-electric dam impoundment but a mine. BHP wanted to quarry one of the jewels of the lower Gordon, the so-called ‘Marble Cliffs’, for smelting flux. The scheme’s principal opponent was Hobart photographer and conservationist John Watt Beattie, who wanted a Gordon River national park. Remarkably, a pro-development premier from the west coast mining fields vetoed the proposal. However, BHP’s substitute limestone quarry at Melrose, south of Devonport, paid an unexpected geological dividend.
No need to book.
This talk forms part of Professional Historians of Australia (Tasmania) and the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office program of public lectures held in the Allport Library, Ground Floor, 91 Murray Street, Hobart.