2020 Tas Dam the Dams
Dam the Dams
Today there is the John Butters Hydro-Electric Dam on the King River near Queenstown and the Gordon River Dam. With the generous supply of rainwater in Tasmania it seems the negative drying effect on the rivers beneath the dams is not the same reality that the drought ridden mainland experiences for example on the Great Murray River. The building of the Franklin River Dam was stopped by the federal government in July 1983 and fortunately set a precedent.
When we were researching our arrival at the Macquarie Harbour entrance we learned that opening the sluices at either dam can increase the outflow at Hell’s Gate dramatically, but we noticed no such excessive flow either when we arrived or left.
It was interesting to read that the division in attitude over the building of the dams was largely a class one, with the working classes seeing only the advantage of short-term employment in the dam building without looking to the future when they would again be unemployed, and the middle class conservationists and ‘greenie’s’ more futuristic opposition which won through on the Franklin Dam issue. Ken tells me that families are still divided over the issue even today. The struggle is never ending.