Lake Gordon

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Lake Gordon
Gordon Dam.jpg
The 140 m (459 ft) high Gordon Dam, built in 1974, creates Lake Gordon.
Lake Gordon is located in Tasmania
Lake Gordon
Lake Gordon
Location of Lake Gordon in Tasmania
Location South-west Tasmania
Coordinates 42°44′S 146°10′E / 42.733°S 146.167°E / -42.733; 146.167Coordinates: 42°44′S 146°10′E / 42.733°S 146.167°E / -42.733; 146.167
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows
Primary outflows Gordon River
Catchment area 1,280 km2 (494 sq mi)
Basin countries Australia
Managing agency Hydro Tasmania
Built 1974 (1974)
Construction engineer Hydro-Electric Commission TAS
First flooded 1974 (1974)
Surface area 278 ha (687 acres)
Water volume 12,359,040 ML (436,455.4×10^6 cu ft)
References [1]

Lake Gordon is a man-made reservoir created by the Gordon Dam, located on the upper reaches of the Gordon River in the south-west region of Tasmania, Australia.


The reservoir was formed in the early 1970s as a result of the dam construction by the Hydro-Electricity Commission of Tasmania in order to create an upper storage for the Gordon Power Station, the largest and most controversial hydro-electric power scheme in Tasmania.[2]

Drawing from a catchment area of 1,280 square kilometres (490 sq mi), Lake Gordon has a surface area of 278 thousand square metres (3×10^6 sq ft), with storage capacity of 12,359,040 megalitres (436,455.4×10^6 cu ft)[1] or 12.5 km3 (3.0 cu mi) of water, the equivalent of twenty-five times the amount of water in Port Jackson. Lake Pedder is connected to Lake Gordon through the McPartlans Pass Canal at 42°50′51″S 146°11′45″E / 42.84750°S 146.19583°E / -42.84750; 146.19583 (McPartlans Pass Canal).

Additional dams were proposed for the lower Gordon River, however they were subject to political protest led by The Wilderness Society, most notably the Franklin Dam controversy during the early 1980s. In 1983 the Hawke-led Australian Government intervened and overturned a decision by the Tasmanian Government to dam the lower Gordon. When the Tasmanian Government refused to halt work in the UNESCO-listed World Heritage Area, the Australian Government successful sought a ruling in the High Court of Australia in Commonwealth v Tasmania. The lower Gordon was not dammed.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (Excel (requires download)). Dams information. Australian National Committee on Large Dams. 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  2. ^ McKenry, Keith (1972) A History and critical analysis of the controversy concerning the Gordon River Power Scheme pp.9 - 39 in Australian Conservation Foundation (1972) Pedder Papers - Anatomy of a Decision Parkville, Vic. Australian Conservation Foundation
  3. ^ Harries, David (March 2011). "Hydroelectricity in Australia: past, present and future". ecogeneration (Great Southern Press). Retrieved 6 July 2015.