Senate debates

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Statements by Senators

Lake Pedder Flooding: 50th Anniversary

1:44 pm

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

This year, 2022, is the 50th year since the magnificent Lake Pedder was flooded. It's 50 years since legendary environmental activists Brenda Hean and Max Price took off from Cambridge Aerodrome, near Hobart, in Max's Tiger Moth plane. They planned to write 'Save Lake Pedder' in the sky above Parliament House, in Canberra. They started their flight on 8 September 1972. But that Tiger Moth plane never arrived in Canberra. Brenda and Max were never seen again. Their disappearance without trace remains one of Tasmania's greatest unsolved mysteries. As raised by Scott Millwood's 2008 film, Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean?, the police investigation was ultimately unsatisfactory despite police discovering that the hangar storing the Tiger Moth had been broken into the night before the flight.

On 10 September this year the family of Brenda Hean completed the mission by flying a Tiger Moth from Cambridge, near Hobart, to Canberra. Congratulations to all involved in such a tremendous achievement and such a fitting tribute to Brenda and Max. Brenda's great-great niece, 16-year-old Charlotte Ditcham, was in the Tiger Moth, and Brenda's great-great nephew, Ollie Ditcham, piloted an accompanying Cessna.

This is the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Now is the time for the Commonwealth government to nominate restoring Lake Pedder as Australia's flagship project in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Restoring Lake Pedder would set right a great wrong and would restore the spiritual heart of Tasmania's magnificent wilderness.