Lincoln Siliakus, environment legal expert, has died

Lincoln Siliakus, 2012 - Photo: Jim Budd

Lincoln Siliakus, the lawyer who set up the legal fund and advised the Tasmanian Wilderness Society through the Franklin River blockade in Tasmania in 1982-3, and then the Franklin Dam High Court case, has died in Paris.

"Lincoln, working with Pierre Slicer, played a pivotal role in the Franklin campaign which, in the end, turned on legal arguments. He also helped organise the pro-Franklin public gatherings outside the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Paris which decided, on 13 December 1982, to list the Tasmanian Wilderness as World Heritage. He has a very important place in the history of Australian environmental protection", friend and fellow environmentalist Bob Brown said today.

Lincoln Siliakus, front left and front right Norm Sanders, during Franklin River campaign. Photo: Ross Scott

Alec Marr, who as CEO of the Wilderness Society worked more recently with Lincoln recalls: "Lincoln and Christine Milne together and unaided stopped the Australian Government from watering down the World Heritage Convention Operational Guidelines in 2003. Had the government succeeded, it would have opened all World Heritage sites around the world to massive developments such as mining operations."

Also after the Franklin campaign, Lincoln Siliakus played a huge role in the listing or protection of other Australian World Heritage properties including Kakadu, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Wet Tropical Rainforests of Queensland. He was most recently at Doha in 2014 to help in the successful effort to stop the Abbott Government from having a large part of Tasmania's World Heritage forest from being delisted and logged.

Siliakus was educated in Adelaide and became a wine connoisseur.

"Lincoln died of a short illness. Our condolences go to his wife Anne in Paris," Bob Brown said.

Photo Credits

1.      Lincoln Siliakus 2012
2.      Lincoln Siliakus, front left and front right Norm Sanders, during Franklin River campaign

Higher Resolution images available.


Jenny Weber
0427 366 929

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  • commented 2015-07-18 22:59:00 +1000
    Lincoln was a shining light for me in 2012 when I was in Paris meeting with delegates to the World Heritage Committee about the port proposals for the Fitzroy delta in the Great Barrier Reef WHA. He went with me to the meetings and lead me through the mine field of European diplomacy that, as a country Queenslander fighting to protect her back yard, was all a bit overwhelming. I am grateful to have had the priviledge of meeting him and tapping into his wealth of experience and being touched by his grace and sense of humour.
  • commented 2015-07-14 04:11:32 +1000
    Very sad news. I have very fond memories of Lincoln. The photo of Lincoln is mine taken in 2012 at the Salon des Vins de Loire. I would be grateful if you would credit me – Jim Budd. Many thanks.
  • commented 2015-07-07 22:04:19 +1000
    Vale Lincoln.

    This is sad and unexpected news indeed. While many of us in our youth regarded the law as an ass, Lincoln realised that, as with most beasts of burden, treating the law wisely and well could make it a force for environmental progress. Wilderness and World Heritage have lost a valued advocate, many of us have lost a cherished friend as well.