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The United Tasmania Group


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Walker, PF 1987 , 'The United Tasmania Group', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis argues that the impact of the United Tasmania Group (UTG) on Tasmanian
politics cannot be measured by its limited electoral success; rather its achievement is
properly measured by the party's contribution to the growth of the environmental
movement in Tasmania. The argument presented here demonstrates that the UTG has to be
credited with making a major contribution to the development of "one of the most highly
skilled and politically advanced environmental movements in the world."
The UTG was the first political party based on an environmental platform to contest
elections within any parliamentary system in the world and was formed to contest the
Tasmanian House of Assembly election during the Lake Fedder controversy. The party
marked an important milestone in Tasmania's political history in that it challenged for the
first time the traditional orthodoxy of successive governments and the ossified policy of
hydro-industrialisation. However, concerned citizens who formed the membership of the
party were politically inexperienced and were reluctantly forced to directly challenge the
Government's decision to flood Lake Fedder in the political arena. This unprecedented
action was a direct result of conservationists' experience with the decision-making
processes which they claimed excluded any form of public participation and represented
only one set of values- namely the technocratic and economic values entrenched in
hydro-industrialisation. For the first time the UTG exposed the close relationship between
the Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC) and the governing parties in Tasmania.
The thesis will establish that the UTG was a political party inextricably linked to an
emerging environmental movement which, simply by virtue of its size and growth, can be
classified as a social movement. Similar to most social movements, the environmental
movement arose from discontent with many of the customary values of society. The UTG,
like other environmental groups, represented a concerted effort to institutionalise alternative
values. The UTG will be analysed from a perspective which relates the party to the
political system, accounts for its political efficacy and assesses it impact on the
environmental movement and the political system in Tasmania.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Walker, PF
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1987 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

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