Hydro Tasmania is inviting all Tasmanians to join in celebrating its centenary this year, through a free program of events across the state.
Hydro Tasmania is celebrating its centenary in October to recognise the beginning of the original Hydro-Electric Department in 1914. This later became known as the Hydro-Electric Commission then the Hydro-Electric Corporation but has been known and claimed by Tasmanians for generations simply as ‘the Hydro’.
The centenary event program recognises the contribution of thousands of people to building Tasmania’s hydropower system over the past 100 years.
The program was launched today by Tasmanian Energy Minister Matthew Groom and includes a public exhibition, a special Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra concert, a schools initiative, power station tours, and a Back to Waddamana day to recognise the Hydro’s first power station.
Mr Groom said that the construction of Tasmania’s extensive system of dams, power stations and canals had been a primary driver behind the State’s economic and social development during the 20th century.
He said the construction of the power scheme was internationally recognised for its boldness and ingenuity in a harsh and challenging environment. The system continued to deliver value to its owners, the people of Tasmania.
“The legacy of the Hydro is not only its engineering and construction feats, but that it was carved out of the state’s harsh interior by ordinary people working in extraordinary conditions,” he said.
“Thousands of workers toiled on building the power schemes – many of them displaced by hard economic times, war and strife. They came from far and wide – even the other side of the world – to make Tasmania their new home.
“Their legacy remains strong to this day, which is why people are front and centre of the celebrations to recognise the Hydro’s 100th birthday later this year.”
Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said the centenary was a way to tell the stories of the people of ‘the Hydro’ and to give thanks to those who built the State’s hydropower system.
“Much has been written about our history, the achievements and the conflicts, but the constant through the past 100 years has been the role played by the men and women who gave so much to make the business what it is today,” Mr Davy said.
“The centenary event program is our way of saying thanks to them and to the Tasmanian community.”