This government short documentary profiles the commencement of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, starting with construction of the Guthega Dam and hydro plant. Shots of a mountainous and snowy landscape frame the nation building project, as surveyors are seen traversing the terrain and teams of designers and planners are at work.
Led by Norwegian engineers, footage of blasting the Guthega Dam is followed by workers picking, shoveling and operating earthworks machinery. Three shifts per day are running around the clock in all seasons. Dam construction footage is followed by scenes of electrical and hydro power plant construction and operational testing.
Prime Minister Robert Menzies opens the plant by delivering a speech and flicking the switch. Images of electricity use in the community are superimposed over footage of falling dam water. To celebrate the opening of the dam, Norwegian workers are seen dancing and enjoying themselves. Over images of workers drilling and tunneling, the film finishes by stating that the project will take another 25 years to complete.
Produced by the Department of the Interior and an Australian National Film Board Production.
Author: J Bird, 2023