Historical information

Although the Kiewa Hydro-Electric Scheme was first proposed in 1911, construction did not commence until 1938. As part of the push to cut electricity costs and diversify supply, the Victorian Government (circa 1930) initiated the conversion from primarily brown coal supply to hydro – electricity. Field investigations during the 1940’s resulted in a new proposal for a scheme that had more than double the capacity of the 1938 scheme. The Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme became the largest scheme of its kind in the State Of Victoria and the second largest scheme in Australia. The number of personnel involved in the planning and construction of the scheme increased dramatically. During the late 1940’s, most activity centred around the construction of the West Kiewa Power Station, Rocky Valley Reservoir, McKay Creek Power Station and the Bogong Creek Aqueduct.


A common thread across all the larger hydro scheme constructions was the need for workers, both qualified and unqualified who came from around the world seeking a new life for themselves and their families. New accommodation and facilities were required for the army of workers engaged in construction in often remote and wild areas. The SEC had a high demand for timber, and set up the first of a number of sawmills at Bogong Creek in 1939 and set up the first hardwood logging in the headwaters of the Kiewa River. These new ‘towns’ such as Mt Beauty and Bogong, survived, serving the needs of operational personnel and their families, and expanding with growth of new industries. Mount Beauty, and to a lesser extent Bogong, are among these places.

Physical description

Large A3 size spiral bound display folder containing 21 pages of photocopied black and white photographs of various aspects of the early days of the Kiewa Valley Hydro-electric scheme including equipment, various work sites and photographs of workers and their families.
1-Allis Chalmers Tractor School 2- Gardens outside Administrative Office – Mt Beauty 3- Mt Beauty house – 1950 4-Bridge over Pretty Valley River, Bogong 5-Rocky Valley Spillway Tunnel break through 6-Ni 1 Headrace Tunnel drilling face 7-No 4 Power Station Drilling 8-Clover Dam Flood Waters 9-No1 Head Race Tunnel Portal Building 10-Clover Dam

Inscriptions & markings

1-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 5.9.49 Time: 10amm No K5174 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works
Allis Chalmers Tractor School Page number 19
2-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 22.2.50 Time: 3.30pm No K5601 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works
Gardens outside Administrative Office – Mt Beauty Page number 20
3-Mt Beauty house – 1950 Page number 21
4-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 23.10.50 Time: 11.15am No K6331 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works
Bogong-Bridge over Pretty Valley River Page number 22
5-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 23.6.50 Time: 2.30pm No K5844 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works
6-20/3/52 – No. 1 Headrace Tunnel Drilling face (E.E.E. contract) Page number 24
7-6/6/52 – No 4 Power Station – Drilling Page number 25
8-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 6/6/52 Time: No K7113 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works
Clover Dam Flood Waters Page number 26
9-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: Oct 1952 Time: No K7239 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works
No. 1 HEAD RACE TUNNEL PORTAL BUILDING. Handwritten underneath – This information from Ron White-the later Principal Hydro Engineer of the SEC. Oct 1952 Location incorrect? All work on No 1 had ceased after financial crash of 1951. This photo would refer to No 4 Headrace Tunnel? Page number 27
10-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: Jan 1953 Time: No K7307 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works
CLOVER DAM Page number 28