Sir William HudsonPrint Page Print this page

October 2005
October 2005

Photographs supplied by Ian Bevege / Shirley Croft

The plaque, with bas relief sculpture, commemorates Sir William Hudson (1896 - 1978), civil engineer and manager of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

Appointed on 1 August 1949, at 53 Hudson reached the pinnacle of his career as manager of the Snowy Mountains scheme, responsible for the biggest civil engineering project ever undertaken in Australia and one which the American Society of Civil Engineers would call an engineering wonder of the world. His starting salary was the princely sum of £5000 a year and he was given considerable powers, including direct access to the responsible minister.

The task, to be performed in a harsh terrain and climate, was to direct operations which would trap the seaward-flowing waters of the Snowy and Eucumbene rivers and drive them westward through long trans-mountain tunnels to irrigate the dry inland plains. In falling through the tunnel systems, the waters would generate electricity for the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria. Ultimately, the workforce (which peaked at 7300 in 1959) built 16 dams, 7 power stations, 50 miles (80 km) of aqueducts and 90 miles (145 km) of tunnels.

Completed in 1974, ahead of schedule, and at a cost close to the 1953-54 estimate of £422 million, the scheme had a generating capacity of 3.74 million kilowatts of hydro-electric power and provided an annual average of 2.36 million megalitres of water for irrigation and other purposes.


Address:Yulin Avenue, Snowy Hydro Education & Information Centre, Cooma, 2630
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.219569
Long: 149.133193
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

Sir William Hudson KBE, FRS.

Commissioner of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority 1949 to 1967.

This plaque commemorates Sir William Hudson, whose inspired leadership of Snowy men and women ensured the success of the Snowy Mountains  Scheme, Australia's greatest social and engineering achievement of the 20th Century.

Memories of hardships, friendships and pride of participation in the construction were shared on October 17th 1999, when 15,000 to 20,000 people  gathered beside Lake Jindabyne to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Scheme`s commencement.

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au