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Snowy River

The iconic Snowy River has been immortalised through Australian folk lore and film – the poem Man from Snowy River captured our imagination in 1890, and up until the mid-20th century the Snowy remained notable for its rapids, large reach and high volume of fresh water.

Snowy River

However,  the Snowy was dammed at Jindabyne in 1967 for electricity generation as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme. The headwaters of the river were turned around to flow inland instead of to the sea, and an insidious decline began:

  • with reduced flows and fewer floods, the river channel is being choked by sands and sediments;
  • willow trees and other weeds are suffocating the remaining water flow;
  • pest fish species increase while native fish populations decline – the native Bass stopped breeding in the late 1980s leaving this species in danger of dying out.

2002 brought new hope for the Snowy when the Premiers of Victoria and NSW agreed to restore flows to the river. However progress has been painfully slow and most of the river’s water still goes through Snowy Hydro’s turbines and inland for irrigation purposes. The Snowy Water Licence needs to be repealed, rewritten and placed in the hands of an independent authority to ensure the environmental flows are implemented..

We need to restore the Snowy River to a reflection of its former glory, all the way from its beginnings on the slopes of Mt Koscuiszko, along its journey  through some of the most magnificent country in  Victoria all the way to Bass Strait.

People who love and depend on the Snowy River have many memories and insights to share.

Take a minute and explore the Snowy River through the eyes of this river champion…