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Do yourself a favour before you pass this world, head to the Snowy River scheme and give yourself a minimum two-week tour. The sheer enormity and grandeur of this project is something to behold. Aside from this there’s the usual trimmings of hiking, riding, skiing, boozing, camping and nature loving but in the interests of brevity let’s stick to one of the world’s modern engineering feats.

One thing the Snowy River Scheme proves beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Australians are capable of mixing it with the most ambitious, international, civic projects. It’s a shame this “visionary thinking” has become diluted in the last half century for playing it safe ideals.

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Power Act was established in 1949 with the purpose of supplying water to townships, farmland, environmental use and though it’s flow, hydro electricity. Risk management is at the core of the Snowy Mountains Scheme with the electricity supply being tapped into during spikes in demand i.e. breakfast/dinner time, cold/hot days.

I can’t find a way to adequately summarise the enormity of what the Snowy River Scheme is but this excerpt from Snowy Hydro’s “The Story So Far” catches a verbal glimpse of it:

“The task to construct the Scheme was a daunting one. The mountains were heavily forested with almost vertical ravines. Roaring, crashing rivers had to be diverted through dozens of kilometres of tunnels drilled laboriously through hard granite mountains.

Access roads had to be built and small towns constructed hundreds of miles from anywhere to house the workforce needed to build the Scheme.

Extremes of climate added to the difficult working conditions. Freezing winters and hot summers brought snow-blocked roads, flood, mud and searing heat.”

There’s so much more to write about; cloud seeding, the immigrant story, infrastructure, inventions, environmental considerations but you really need to go there and learn it yourself.

I’ve just drank a Fox Hat Lusty Lager while writing this. Mmm yum, much recommended.

Please drink responbsily, Nick.

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