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.
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-Mt Beauty Pondage inlet-Regulating weir 2-Langfords Gap Basalt Hill-Tunnel in quarry face.3-Rocky Valley Camp-from Engineering Office 4-Basalt Hill tunnel portal 5-No 1 Pressure Shaft Works Bench 6-No 1 Power Station 7-Overturned haulage wagons on the side of an embankment 8- Group of workers dressed in wet weather gear inside a tunnel 9-Workmen and vehicle in tunnel 10-Howman’s Gap campsite at 4,150 feet
Inscriptions & markings
1-1954 – Mt Beauty Pondage inlet – Regulating weir Page number 29 2-28/10/54 – Langfords Gap Basalt Hill – Tunnel in quarry face K7860 Page number 30 3-STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 17.8.55 Time: No K8132 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works ROCKY VALLEY CAMP – FROM ENGINEERING OFFICE Page number 31 4-28/10/54 – Basalt Hill tunnel portal K7859 Page number 32 5-No.1 Pressure Shaft Works Bench 5.7.56 Page number 33 6- No. 1 Power Station 26.4.59 Page number 34 7- No markings Page number 35 8-No markings (Wooden board on ground printed with - POLAR A.N.GELATINE DYNAMITE “75” DE 28.8.40) Page number 36 9-No markings Page number 37 10-Howman’s Gap campsite at 4,150 feet Page number 38