The battle to save the Franklin continued, the case going to the High Court of Australia, which stopped construction on the dam in 1983. Brown was the leader of the Green Party in the Tasmanian Parliament from 1989 to 1992, when the Greens held the balance of power. During that time, they were instrumental in extending the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area by 650,000 hectares. Brown used his Goldman Prize money to establish the Australian Bush Heritage Fund, to acquire and protect threatened areas of high conservation value.
As a member of parliament, Brown continued to participate in peaceful demonstrations, including one in 1992 when pro-loggers fired gun shots and fire bombed environmentalists’ cars. He was twice arrested and jailed for peaceful protests against the bulldozing of a gravel road through Tasmania’s Tarkine Wilderness in 1995.
Brown went on to become a national spokesperson for Australia’s Green Party, which he helped to establish in 1992, and in 1996 he was elected to the Australian Senate. Brown retired from the Senate in 2012. He continues to advocate for environmental protection through the Bob Brown Foundation.
Together with the Foundation, Brown is leading a program which protects Tasmania’s Tarkine Wilderness from a renewed push for mining in the region and lay the groundwork for its permanent protection as a national park, to be managed by Aboriginal leaders. This program is being supported by the Jewish Community Foundation and the Goldman Environmental Foundation.