Paddle power in the Gorge

21 August 2017

Hydro Tasmania is boosting support for kayaking and Tasmanian tourism.

The business will conduct at least two special water releases down the Cataract Gorge each year for the next five years.

Hydro Tasmania’s Director of Wholesale Energy Services, Gerard Flack, said on each occasion, the business will release about 18 to 20 cumecs of water down the Gorge for up to eight hours.

“While providing clean, secure energy is Hydro Tasmania’s first priority, we also take pride in supporting recreational water users,” Mr Flack said.

“As proud Tasmanians, we’re very pleased to support the activities that enrich Tasmanians’ lives.

“This is a great opportunity to support Tasmanian paddlers while also promoting northern Tasmania as an adventure tourism destination - linking with other activities such as mountain biking.

“Improved planning and promotion should ensure Tasmania gets maximum value from this very valuable water resource,” he said.

The Chairman of Canoe Tasmania, John Borojevic, said the releases are great news for whitewater canoeing, with Tasmania already attracting many paddlers from around Australia for its premium whitewater.

“The Cataract Gorge, with Hydro Tasmania support, has previously been the site of World Cup Slaloms and World Cup Wildwater races, as well as Xtreme racing, attracting international paddlers and thousands of spectators to the Gorge,” Mr Borojevic said.

“Having these guaranteed annual releases will allow us to build on these past successful events,” he said.

The controlled releases have been made possible by new valves installed at Trevallyn Dam, which provide more control and flexibility.

The commitment stems from community consultation on Cataract Gorge. The timing of the releases will be agreed with Canoe Tasmania and other key stakeholders.

The releases will be promoted nationally and held on the same days each year (eg. the first weekend in October) so interstate paddlers can plan trips to Tasmania. Releases will also be scheduled at Lake Rowallan and Bronte Lagoon in the days surrounding each Gorge release, making a week-long Tasmanian visit very attractive.

Hydro Tasmania will work with Tasmanian tourism bodies to promote the water releases. It’s hoped that within four years, northern Tasmania will be hosting a nationally significant kayaking event.

Hydro Tasmania is Australia’s leading clean energy business, largest producer of renewable energy, and largest water manager.

Ends.

Released for Hydro Tasmania by Rowan Dix, (03) 62305330 / 0409 722359 / media@hydro.com.au.

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