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 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-Workmen working inside one of the tunnels. 2-Workman drilling in West Kiewa Tunnel 3-Junction Dam wall construction 4&5-2B&W photographs Kiewa House residents ready to go to a ball in Mt Beauty 6-Workmen warming up in front of a fire at No 1 bench 7-Workmen being hauled in at No 4 P.S Shaft 8-No 4 Power Station – Drilling 9-Workmen eating a hot meal in the tunnel. 10-2 photographs (a)Pretty Valley camp showing workman’s huts and construction materials & (b)Worker in Langford Gap Basalt Hill Tunnel face 11-Tunnel entrance (unlabelled) with rail tracks in foreground 12- Workmen drilling at No 1 Head race tunnel-Drilling face 13- No 1 Power Station 14-Workmen at the entrance to one of the SECV tunnels under construction

Inscriptions & markings

1-SECV number at bottom of picture Half obscured possibly K8461 Page number 53 2-In West Kiewa Tunnel Page number 54 3- Construction of Junction Dam wall – approximately 1941 Page number 55 4&5- Residents of Kiewa House at Bogong ready to go to the ball at Mt Beauty-1946. Handwritten on a copy of the photo on opposite page Mrs Lorna Crosset filled out the names *Dad was Des Crossett – his daughter is Gael Petcopoulis Greta engaged to John broke it off. Charlie, Rosalind, Bill, Priscilla, Max Lawrence-Dad’s Boss, Mary & Max married, Mary, Kay, Gwen McPherson Mum’s boss, John McCluskey (c) At No. 5 Bench Page number 56 6- STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 27.2.51 Time:2.15pm No K6373 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works No. 4 P.S. Shaft – Haulage of men in buckets (b) As above Handwritten at top of photo Appendix 4 page number 57 7- STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 6.6.52 Time:… No K7122 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works No. 4 POWER STATION – DRILLING page number 58 8-No markings page number 59 9-(a)Handwritten under photograph Approx. 1948/49 (b) STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 28.10.54 Time:.. No K7860 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works LANGFORD GAP BASALT HILL TUNNEL FACE Page number 49 10-(a) No markings 11- STATE ELECTRICITY COMMISSION OF VICTORIA Date: 20.3.52 Time: No K6979 Kiewa Hydro Electric Works No. 1 HEAD RACE TUNNEL – DRILLING FACE (E.E.E. CONTRACT) ‘The Frenchies’ (E.E.E) as they were affectionately known Page number 50 12-31.5.56 No. 1 Power Station Aggregate Stock Piles. Page number 51 13&14-No markings Page number 52