Early Hydroelectric Installations in Colonial Australia


While major Australian hydroelectric developments in the twentieth century (particularly the Snowy Mountains Scheme) have received considerable attention from historians, this short essay looks at the earliest colonial hydroelectric instal­la­tions.1For social histories see Brad Collis, Snowy: the making of modern Australia, Palmerston, 2002; Noel Gough, Mud, sweat & snow: memories of Snowy workers, 1949–1959, Moonee Ponds, 1999; Siobahn McHugh, The Snowy: the people behind the power, Pymble, 1995. For Tasmania see Marilyn Quirk, Echoes on the mountain: remarkable migrant stories from the hydro villages of the Tasmanian central highlands, Heybridge, 2006. To keep the survey manageable I’ve limited it to the first six examples which were all built for electric lighting purposes in the 1880s. Continue reading “Early Hydroelectric Installations in Colonial Australia”