Sought to Divert the Murrumbidgee
6 February 1945 The Murrumbidgee Irrigator (Leeton, NSW)
Our readers are all familiar with the much discussed and debated project of the Snowy River diversion scheme for the purpose of Augmenting the flow of the Murrumbidgee River for irrigation and hydro electricity.
But it will probably come as a surprise to them to learn that not so long ago a nice little scheme for the diversion of the Murrumbidgee River into another stream for hydro electricity purposes, was nipped, in the bud by the Irrigation Commission.
The author of the scheme was the head guide, Mr. Hoad at the Yarrangobilly Caves, discoverer of the celebrated Jilabean cave, said to surpass in sheer splendour anything to be seen at Jenolan or in any other part of the world.
Mr. Hoad has lived for 40 years at the Yarrangobilly Caves and has devoted his life time to improving the caves, making them more accessible to sightseer by cutting stairways in the solid rock, improving the ventilation, hewing out pas-sage ways and arranging the electric lights so that they will show up the many underground wonders to the best advantage.
When the Jersey cave was first discovered Mr. Hoad and other guides had to crawl on their stomachs for a long distance through a narrow tunnel before they reached the great underground cavern's that are one glittering mass of contrasting colours and symmetrical shapes and forms that no earthly ar tist or sculptor could paint or carve.
Mr. Hoad, and another guide, Mr. Dunn, spent many laborious hours hewing out a passage way into the caverns and putting down steps for the convenience of the visitors.
With regard to the diversion of the Murrumbidgee River into the stream that flows through the Yarrangobilly valley past the Caves House, Mr. Hoad's idea was to augment the stream that at present supplies the hydro electricity with which the caves are lighted.
The Murrumbidgee river which rises near Kiandra, which is 15 miles from Yarrangobilly, flows within four miles of the top of the ridge overlooking the Caves House.
Mr. Hoad explained that the river is only 40 feet below the top of the ridge and it would be a very simple matter to construct a race that would divert the Murrumbidgee into the stream that flows through the Yarrangobilly valley.
When permission was sought of the Irrigation Commission, it was refused on the ground that it would interfere with riparian rights.