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Chile’s dam protesters win Australian backing

The Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, met with the Chilean Ambassador, His Excellency Pedro Pablo Diaz, yesterday to protest against Chile's plans to place five dams on wild Patagonian rivers for hydroelectricity production.

Senator Brown was jailed for 16 days in 1982-3 for peacefully protesting against plans to dam Tasmania's wild Franklin River (that dam was not built). This week's action follows Australian television coverage of anti-dam protests by tens of thousands of Chileans in Santiago and other cities.

Senator Brown said Tasmania's wilderness, New Zealand's Fiordland and Chilean Patagonia share a number of similar rare and endangered plant species as well as scenic splendour.

"The Chilean protestors will get rapidly growing support around the world, including here in Australia," he said.

Ambassador Diaz assured Senator Brown that his protest would be relayed to the Chilean Government immediately.

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