Dream weekend for paddling foodies

1 February 2018

Kayakers can look forward to a bumper weekend in Launceston, with a special water release down the Cataract Gorge timed to coincide with Festivale.

Hydro Tasmania has committed to conducting at least two special releases down the Gorge each year until 2022, to help support kayaking and tourism.

The first of those releases occurred on Saturday 16 December last year, with the second taking place this Saturday, 3 February.

Hydro Tasmania’s Director of Wholesale Energy Services, Gerard Flack, said paddlers can expect a good flow of 24 cubic metres per second (cumecs) down the Gorge from Trevallyn Dam, between 9am and 4pm.

“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 pleased to support the activities that enrich Tasmanians’ lives.

“At 24 cubic metres per second, Saturday’s flow will actually be a few cumecs stronger than the December one, providing great kayaking conditions.

“You can paddle all day Saturday and dine at Festivale. That’s a great reason to be in Launceston this weekend,” he said.

Hydro Tasmania’s commitment stems from community consultation on Cataract Gorge, and a strong partnership with the City of Launceston.

Launceston Mayor, Albert van Zetten, said the increased flows were very welcome at such a busy time for the city.

“Northern Tasmania is experiencing a bumper summer, with plenty of tourists around and plenty of locals making the most of the fine weather we’ve had so far,” Mayor van Zetten said.

“While we’ve already heard from members of the local kayaking community that they love this initiative from Hydro Tasmania, the reality is that these increased flows can be enjoyed by anyone who visits the Gorge on Saturday.

“Increased flows through the Cataract Gorge make it an even more impressive place for visitors and locals. All we ask is that people obey any safety signage the Council has in place, and take advantage of the lifeguard-patrolled First Basin swimming pool as a safe place to swim,” Mayor van Zetten said.

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

Saturday’s release is expected to cost Hydro Tasmania about $18,000 in foregone generation, but will help generate strong economic activity in Launceston. The special releases are limited to twice a year so that kayaking groups can promote them widely and link them to other significant events, providing an economic benefit for Tasmania.

It’s hoped northern Tasmania will be hosting a nationally significant kayaking event within four years.

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

NOTE: Hydro Tasmania employees will be stationed next to the First Basin swimming pool from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, to liaise with paddlers and other members of the community.

 

Ends.

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

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