Hydro Plants on 'Bidgee, Murray Scheme Approved by State Cabinet

29 January 1949 Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga)

Sydney, Friday:-

A scheme for the erection of three hydro-electric power stations on the Murrumbidgee and four on the Murray River has been approved by State Cabinet. 

This was announced today by the Minister for Conservation (Mr. Weir). 

He said the scheme was vast, and would yield more electric power than was at present generated in New South Wales and Victoria combined.

Snowy Diversion

Cabinet had also considered two alternative schemes in connection with the Snowy River diversion project.   

It would press strongly for the following additional works:-

1 - A large water storage at Billilingera, on the Murrumbidgee, north of Cooma; 

2 - Diversion tunnel under the Monaro Range, connecting the Snowy River with the Murrumbidgee; 

3 - Three power stations, associated with this diversion; 

4 - Diversion tunnel from the island bend on the Upper Snowy to the Murray; 

5 - Four power stations associated with the diversion to the Murray. 

Talks in February

Mr. Weir said that Cabinet had authorised the Minister for Public Works (Mr. Cahill) and himself to discuss the proposals with the Commonwealth Ministers, Mr. Lemon and Senator Ashley, early in February. 

Expert investigation had shown that a diversion of the Snowy waters into the Murray would be of less national ad- vantage agriculturally. 

This was the reason, combined with the time factor, why the, N.S.W. Government was supporting a diversion to the Murrumbidgee. 

Under the plan favored by Cabinet, water would be available for irrigation in the Murrumbidgee Valley in eight years.

 Under the alternative plan, only 26 per cent of the diverted flow would be available in 10 years, another 38 per cent after 18 years, and the remaining 31 per cent, after 20 years. 

Mr. Weir said a decision would not have to be made as to which of the two schemes would be adopted. 

Principal works common to both schemes provided for:-

1. - Large water storages at Jindabyne (on the Snowy River), Adaminaby (Eucumbene River), Tantangara (upper reaches of the Murrumbidgee), Lobb's Hole and Blowering (Tumut), and Spencer's Creek, near Mount Kosciusko (Geehi River). 

2. - Diversion tunnels connecting Adaminaby Dam with the Tumut River (two ways), Tantangara Dam with the Tumut River, Tooma River to the Tumut River, and Spencer's Creek to the Snowy River. 

3. - Collecting water races in the vicinity of the Snowy, Crackenback, Tumut, Tooma, and Geehi Rivers.