Senate debates

Tuesday, 30 November 2021


Lake Pedder

1:34 pm

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

Fifty years ago next year, the Tasmanian government made a terrible mistake. It needlessly flooded a dynamic, living waterway deep in Tasmania's wilderness, and at the heart of that waterway was—and still is—the spectacular wild icon of Lake Pedder. In this, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, with nature and wilderness under relentless attack and the climate breaking down around us, it is time to right this historical wrong. Now, more than ever, we need to restore nature, and there could be no project more worthy than to heal what we broke nearly half a century ago when Lake Pedder was drowned.

Restoring Pedder is not just a big idea; it is a courageous and visionary idea, and it's an idea and a project that is eminently achievable. It would show leadership to the world, and it would provide hope to people around the world, that we can learn from our mistakes and make good on our mistakes. It would show people that we can heal nature when it has been so grievously harmed. It would put Tasmania on the global map, on the front page, for all the right reasons.

The magnificent quartzite beach at Lake Pedder is still intact, ready to be revealed to the world in all its beauty and magnificence. Restoring Pedder would also create thousands of jobs in our post-COVID economy, a nature-led recovery instead of the nonsense of a gas-led recovery. Restoring Pedder would show the world that humanity can play a positive role in the stewardship of wilderness and nature. The time has come. After 50 years it is time to restore Lake Pedder.