Cover image for The South-West Committee
The South-West Committee
Agency Number:
Start Date:
12 Nov 1962
The South-West Committee (SWC) came into being as a result of a meeting held in Hobart on 12 November 1962. The meeting convened by Ron Brown attended by representatives of organisations and persons particularly interested in the future of South-West Tasmania, resolved to form an organisation to work for the conservation of the area and for the introduction of a rational plan for the development of its resources.
In its early years the Committee, which was representative of organisations more generally concerned with conservation and outdoor recreation, was instrumental in having the whole of the South-West declared a fire protected area under the Rural Fires Board Act, and in the creation of a Faunal District covering more than a million and a half acres, the largest reserve of its kind in Australia except for the northern Territory.
In 1966, following a thorough and exhaustive investigation, the SWC submitted to government a comprehensive and co-ordinated plan for the future of the South-West. Among other things, the submission suggested areas particularly suited to be set aside for reserves, together with the type of development desirable within each area. Proposals were also submitted for the type of authority best suited to administer the area.
Limited progress in the achievement of these and other objectives together with the announcement by the Hydro Electric Commission (HEC or Hydro) of plans for the Gordon River scheme for power development which would subsequently drown Lake Pedder resulted in a call by the SWC for an independent enquiry (Lake Pedder Committee of Enquiry) to examine all aspects of conservation and development in the South-West.
In the five years from 1967 a number of recommendations arising from another enquiry conducted by the Legislative Council Select Committee (Cartland Report) which received its principal submissions from the SWC, e.g. the declaration of a large national park in the South-West, the setting up of a South-West National Park Board, and the establishment of a new authority to administer national parks and wildlife in the state (National Parks and Wildlife Service) were approved.
The SWC had a constituent membership of over 1,000 persons. Many organisations were represented in the SWC's constituency including:
Aero Club of (Southern) Tasmania
Launceston Walking Club
Residents of Port Davey
Tasmanian Caverneering Club
Tasmanian University Mountaineering Club
Tasmanian Aviation Service
Save Lake Pedder Committee
South-West Tasmania Action Committee
Tasmanian Flora and Fauna Conservation Committee
Youth Hostels Association of Tasmania
and most recently the Lake Pedder Restoration Committee
(no records held for these organisations as of January 2012)
Records are held for many other both government and non-government bodies and individuals whom bear either a direct or indirect relation to the activities of the South-West Committee particularly concerning the Lake Pedder controversy as indicated by the presence of material at item level given a description containing the words "Lake Pedder". See "Related Agencies" field below for links to the records deposited by those agencies and individuals.
Information Sources:
Grant, Malcolm, 'Background Information: South-West Committee', 1972.;;
Functions Performed:
Conservation movement
Lands and Surveys Department (TA69)01 Jan 180423 Dec 1970

Macfie Family (NG2111)06 Feb 187701 Jan 2000

Office of the Premier (TA416)01 Jan 1882

Pretyman Family (NG1012)17 Aug 1892

Rudolph Harry Major (NG385)01 Jan 190014 Aug 1974

Jack Thwaites and Family (NG1155)01 Jan 190231 Dec 1986

Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club (NG689)01 Jan 1904

Eric Elliott Reece (NG1300)06 Jul 190923 Oct 1999

Clive Sansom (NG2089)01 Jan 191031 Dec 1981

Scenery Preservation Board (TA27)26 Nov 191501 Nov 1971

Forestry Department (TA900)01 Jan 192101 Jul 1994

Arnold Rowlands (NG2167)17 Apr 192501 Oct 2009

Hobart Walking Club (NG667)21 Nov 1929

Hydro-Electric Commission (TA314)01 Jan 193030 Jun 1998

National Fitness Council (TA77)01 Jan 1939

Dr. Bob Brown (NG2029)27 Dec 1944

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park Board (TA426)01 Jan 194731 Dec 1968

Mount Field National Park Board (TA433)01 Jan 194731 Dec 1968

Youth Hostels Association (NG731)25 Nov 195031 May 1973

Canine Defence League (NG1102)13 Dec 1950

Department of Film Production (TA178)01 Jan 196031 Dec 1977

North West Walking Club (NG1398)01 Apr 1960

Save Lake Pedder National Park Committee (NG1431)01 Jan 1964

Climbers Club of Tasmania (NG2454)01 Jan 1965

Professional Fishermen's Association of Tasmania (NG3013)01 Oct 196631 Dec 1991

Lake Pedder Action Committee (NG591)01 Jan 1967

Tasmanian Conservation Trust (NG1129)01 Jan 1968

Federation of Tasmanian Bushwalking Clubs (NG2228)09 Nov 1968

Australian Plants Society Tasmania Incorporated (NG1972)30 Nov 1968

Geoffrey Ford, Ray Lowenthal, Arthur Mchugh and Rick Jamieson (NG3530)

National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council (TA30)01 Jan 1971

National Parks and Wildlife Service (TA26)01 Nov 197101 May 1987

United Tasmania Group (NG2412)23 Mar 197231 Dec 1979

Office of the Minister for the Environment (TA401)03 May 197231 Jul 1989

Department of the Environment (TA349)01 Nov 197217 Jul 1989

Office of the Minister for National Parks, Wildlife and Heritage (TA414)17 Apr 1974

South West Advisory Committee (TA472)17 Nov 197531 Dec 1978

Tasmanian Film Corporation (TA179)01 Jan 197731 Dec 1982

Department of Premier & Cabinet (TA926)17 Jul 1989

Office of the Minister for Inland Fisheries (TA1544)01 Jan 1992

Tasmanian Greens (NG2160)01 Aug 1992