Parallel economics – Pumped for fishing
With AGL and Muswellbrook Council’s recent
announcement of turning Muswellbrook Coal’s mine void
along with other local land into pumped Hydroelectricity
reservoirs; we wonder should recreation also be part of
Let me start by saying that I have no idea around the practicalities or realities
of how these proposals will come together, operate or when they will become
a reality. But what has struck me amid the local government and corporate
back slapping around the excitement of the proposal is that I haven’t seen
what other benefits could be gained from having such a major piece of
infrastructure in the local community.
Power prices, some good jobs and the enviro credentials of this plan are
the main game, but is there room in the plan to also deliver a huge
recreational benefit to the local Muswellbrook and Hunter community?
NSW’s Snowy Hydro set up of storage dams is as famous these days for
fishing, waterskiing and the whole range of other weekend activities it
supports. That man-made water storage facility is also a picturesque
destination for tourism.
So, the simple idea here is to make what looks like a reasonable plan on
paper further align with its broader potential and the potential of
complementary mine void uses and community benefit that many have floated
in recent years.
Local tourism could be significantly empowered by creating a tourist
attraction concurrently with an important energy infrastructure asset.
Local residents with a wide range of interests would have a new place to play
and tourists a new place to visit. Many local businesses would also reap huge
rewards in the extra business created.
What a great compliment to our existing network of waterways and a
demonstration of multifunction beneficial mine void use.