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Friday, June 25, 2010

What Does Craig Do?

Always difficult to answer when people ask. We've discussed it and tried to come up with a nutshell job title and it is.......
bush reduction specialist.
He clears a lot of bush blocks belonging to Crown Land every spring/summer for fire hazard prevention. Gorse can be a terrible problem around Tasmania too and be so invasive. He also leads teams of casual workers for tree planting and pruning. Sometimes its brush cutter and sometimes tractor slashing. Sometimes the elements of weather are set against him but always he finds himself amongst spectacular scenery.

This week he has been working to maintain clearance around the gigantic water pipe of the hydro electric scheme so that maintenance crews can have clear access. Most electricity in Tasmania is created from the gravitational force of falling water flow instead of burning fossil fuels. It is a renewable energy source and produces no direct waste. It was found to be suitable for Tasmania because of it's geographical highlands and high rainfall in that area.

The first hydro electric station was opened in 1895 by the Launceston City Council. The above pipe line and associated sub stations and dams were constructed I believe after the second World War by the many migrants who came here to work and who have intimately and uniquely shaped our culture here today.

The pipe is at least 12 feet high.

This framework rolls along the pipe and can lift sections up for access and maintenance of the pipe. I wish there was someone standing next to it so you could get a true perspective. I think the pipe is scheduled for a paint job and crews need access to it. Naturally, due to the nature of power generation requirements, the pipe falls from great heights down some very steep precipices which makes bush clearance from the sides quite a challenge in some areas.
So there you of the lesser known case you were ever wondering who and how so ever....


  1. So, unlike here in the states, you use a pipe to create the fall of water instead of dams? Unfortunately, we dam rivers and create man-made lakes for this purpose. The water turns turbines inside the dam when it falls over.

  2. Hi Zoo Keeper,
    we do have dams also and Australia's most significant environmental campaign was about one such proposed dam called the Gordon Below Franklin project here in Tasmania. We are very green here but even the whole of Australia got behind us on this one. It would have had a disastrous effect on the Franklin River. There are even songs written about it! If you google any of the key words I've mentioned you can read about the saving of the river that united and galvanised a nation.
    Check out this clip

  3. Hi Zoo Keeper~
    Here in the states we actually do use piped water to run electrical turbines. They just don't get the same press that the big dams do. But you must realize that to get the water into these pipes, a steady pool must be developed and maintained at the head end. And how do you maintain a steady pool of water (i.e a reservoir)? You guessed it! A dam.

  4. Oh, my original comment was that I drive on a lot of irrigation canal banks, and I could just kiss the guys who do an awesome job of road maintenance. The other guys should be hung up by their toenails and beaten. Craig, I'm sure, is one of the former!
    I had a canal bank cave under me once and my big hurkin' work SUV ended up on it's side in the water. I had to get all my equipment out(many thousands of dollar's worth)to spare it from destruction. Thank goodness the two-way radio still worked after becoming partially submerged.

  5. Well I guess you learn something new every day. I had never heard of this method for electricity and certainly didn't realize that was what you used in Tasmania. Very interesting. We would personally love to switch to wind turbine or solar for our personal usage, but it all comes down to money. And the solar would come down to cutting away lots of trees for it to work and that is just not right either.

  6. Interesting. Not something I have ever heard of. cool.

  7. This is the first I am learning of this type of electricity thanks for enlightening us. He has a very interesting/cool job.


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