GAA Trip to North East Tasmania 2010

The old power station

Inside the old Moorina power station

In 1900, the Pioneer Tin Mining Company was formed to extract tin from Tertiary alluvial deposits found in abundance in the far north-east of Tasmania, at the town of Pioneer. At the time there was only one dedicated power station in Tasmania, near Launceston which was entirely devoted to street lighting and the general needs of the city of Launceston. In addition, water shortages for sluicing and the consumption of 30,000 tonnes of firewood per annum for steam raising had, by 1907, led to the proposal to develop the Moorina Scheme to provide both electricity and sluicing water Construction of the station proceeded during 1908 with commissioning of the 1st machine in March, 1909.
The station is housed in a small 10m x15m corrugated galvanised iron building, which at one point had several out-buildings nearby. Most of these buildings remain including two 1908 houses, a 1939 build engineer’s residence and a machine shed. There is limited public access to the area. Water for operations is supplied from a dam across the Frome River 1.6km due south from the powerhouse itself. According to Australian National Committee on Large Dams Inc. publication, Dam Technology in Australia 1850-1999, the concrete-faced rockfill dam was the first of its kind in Australia. From station engineering records the structure is 18 metres high and 197 metres long, following alterations carried out in 1911. From the dam a water race of 2.7km and penstock convey water to the power station itself, where is passes through the machinery inside

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