Electricity options

WHEN the Gordon-below- Franklin power development was shut down by a High Court ruling in July 1983, the federal government promised to compensate Tasmania to the tune of $500million.

My recollection is that some $220million was provided to the Hydro Electric Commission to offset the higher unit cost of building the King and Anthony- Henty schemes over the following 10 years.

Funds were also granted for other infrastructure projects to help employ labour and equipment displaced from the Gordon-below-Franklin scheme, but I believe that more than $200million remained unspent.

CPI inflation has increased by a factor of 3.0 over the past 30 years, so these uncommitted funds would now be worth over $600million.

While I am not suggesting that we should reignite the Gordon- below-Franklin debate, there are several smaller projects that could be implemented immediately.

One of these is the Langdon Dam off Bradshaws Road near Queenstown.

Site preparation for this dam began in 1988, but work was suspended by the Hydro Electric Commission to reduce overall capital expenditure on the Anthony-Henty scheme.

The design drawings should still be on file, and so work could commence as soon as ACDC approval is granted.

Water from the Langdon catchment was designed to be picked up at Newton Pump Station, which had already been built to accommodate the additional flow.

This water would then generate power at Tribute, MacIntosh, Bastyan and Reece power stations, thus earning value for all Tasmanians for generations to come.

– DAVID TANNER, Kingston Beach.

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