Bronte&Bradys

We're in the early stages of planning works at Bronte and Bradys Dams. We know that many Tasmanians enjoy spending time at these lakes and we want to better understand your needs and upcoming plans so we can do our best to minimise potential impacts and disruptions.

We're kicking off with early conversations in mid December. You can also share your thoughts with us at any time or contact Jane on 0437 107 710.

The plans and timings set out on this page are indicative - because we're still in the design stage, things may change. We'll keep this site up-to-date as new information becomes available.


Background

Nestled in the Central Highlands, Bronte Lagoon and Bradys Lake form part of the Upper Derwent hydropower scheme. Bradys Lake, along with Lake Binney and Tungatinah Lagoon, form part of the Tungatinah chain, which in turn is linked to Bronte Lagoon via Woodwards canal. Together, they channel water down through Tungatinah Power Station's 5 turbines, generating up to 142 MW green electricity every year.

The two dams were built in the early 1950s and share a similar core filled embankment design. As part of our rolling asset management program, we need to refresh the rock buttresses that run along the downstream face of both dams. This work will help ensure the dams and associated waterways can continue to operate safely and reliably.

It is important that works are completed during the summer months when the ground is dry and rainfall is low. This helps us manage the works more efficiently (less chance of delays) and safely manage water levels with work occurring nearby.


What's planned?

At both sites, we plan to work across the downstream face of the dam, removing existing materials and placing new rockfill materials (comprising range of different sizes to create strong structures). The indicative work sites are shown in the photos below.

Bradys Dam - indicative work site


Bronte Dam - indicative work site


What does that mean for you?

Not too much at the moment.! We'll be lowering Bradys Lake between 10 - 29 February 2024 to undertake some preliminary cultural heritage surveys and technical tests, and in the coming 12 months, you may see us more frequently as we progress designs.

However, the potential impacts outlined below won't occur until works start, with Bradys and Bronte scheduled to be undertaken in future years as part of our ongoing 10 year capital investment program.

  • Roads - while there will be more traffic on surrounding roads and some temporary road closures at Bradys, we'll make sure you can access your home, boat ramp or campsite.
  • Noise and vibrations - at both sites, we need to move large amounts of materials using heavy machinery and this will bring increased noise during weekdays. At Bronte, we will also need to blast rock, resulting in short periods of significant noise and vibration. We're currently considering ways to minimise this impact, including avoiding blasting or long work days over high-use periods e.g., long weekends and, at a minimum, will ensure EPA noise guidelines are met.
  • Water levels - at Bronte, we'll need to hold the water level down by up to 1 m below Full Supply Level (FSL; 664.98 metres Above Sea Level) for approximately 3 months. This will remain within the target set by the Inland Fisheries Service MOU level for this storage and the boat ramp will remain open throughout. At Bradys, water levels will need to be lowered to 648.63 mASL or 2.57 m below FSL. This change will also affect Lake Binney and Tungahtinah Lagoon. These levels are not unusual for summer time and boat ramp access will remain open.
  • Campgrounds and boat ramps - these facilities will remain open for the duration of works at both sites.


Share your views!

We'll be in your neighbourhood to have an early conversations in mid December or you can share your thoughts below or directly with Jane on 0437 107 710.

We will use your input to help us minimise impacts as much as possible.

We're in the early stages of planning works at Bronte and Bradys Dams. We know that many Tasmanians enjoy spending time at these lakes and we want to better understand your needs and upcoming plans so we can do our best to minimise potential impacts and disruptions.

We're kicking off with early conversations in mid December. You can also share your thoughts with us at any time or contact Jane on 0437 107 710.

The plans and timings set out on this page are indicative - because we're still in the design stage, things may change. We'll keep this site up-to-date as new information becomes available.


Background

Nestled in the Central Highlands, Bronte Lagoon and Bradys Lake form part of the Upper Derwent hydropower scheme. Bradys Lake, along with Lake Binney and Tungatinah Lagoon, form part of the Tungatinah chain, which in turn is linked to Bronte Lagoon via Woodwards canal. Together, they channel water down through Tungatinah Power Station's 5 turbines, generating up to 142 MW green electricity every year.

The two dams were built in the early 1950s and share a similar core filled embankment design. As part of our rolling asset management program, we need to refresh the rock buttresses that run along the downstream face of both dams. This work will help ensure the dams and associated waterways can continue to operate safely and reliably.

It is important that works are completed during the summer months when the ground is dry and rainfall is low. This helps us manage the works more efficiently (less chance of delays) and safely manage water levels with work occurring nearby.


What's planned?

At both sites, we plan to work across the downstream face of the dam, removing existing materials and placing new rockfill materials (comprising range of different sizes to create strong structures). The indicative work sites are shown in the photos below.

Bradys Dam - indicative work site


Bronte Dam - indicative work site


What does that mean for you?

Not too much at the moment.! We'll be lowering Bradys Lake between 10 - 29 February 2024 to undertake some preliminary cultural heritage surveys and technical tests, and in the coming 12 months, you may see us more frequently as we progress designs.

However, the potential impacts outlined below won't occur until works start, with Bradys and Bronte scheduled to be undertaken in future years as part of our ongoing 10 year capital investment program.

  • Roads - while there will be more traffic on surrounding roads and some temporary road closures at Bradys, we'll make sure you can access your home, boat ramp or campsite.
  • Noise and vibrations - at both sites, we need to move large amounts of materials using heavy machinery and this will bring increased noise during weekdays. At Bronte, we will also need to blast rock, resulting in short periods of significant noise and vibration. We're currently considering ways to minimise this impact, including avoiding blasting or long work days over high-use periods e.g., long weekends and, at a minimum, will ensure EPA noise guidelines are met.
  • Water levels - at Bronte, we'll need to hold the water level down by up to 1 m below Full Supply Level (FSL; 664.98 metres Above Sea Level) for approximately 3 months. This will remain within the target set by the Inland Fisheries Service MOU level for this storage and the boat ramp will remain open throughout. At Bradys, water levels will need to be lowered to 648.63 mASL or 2.57 m below FSL. This change will also affect Lake Binney and Tungahtinah Lagoon. These levels are not unusual for summer time and boat ramp access will remain open.
  • Campgrounds and boat ramps - these facilities will remain open for the duration of works at both sites.


Share your views!

We'll be in your neighbourhood to have an early conversations in mid December or you can share your thoughts below or directly with Jane on 0437 107 710.

We will use your input to help us minimise impacts as much as possible.

Do you use Bronte or Bradys during the summer?

We want to hear from you.

We're particularly interested in understanding when you like to visit, where you stay (campsite, shack, Airbnb), what you like doing during your stay and what facilities you use (e.g., boat ramps).

Share this information below (so others can see it) or to us directly, via email

We'll use this information to help us minimise the potential impacts of our upcoming works. 

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  • Am I entitled to a refund or partial refund of my 5 year trout license that I have just purchased. The idea of owning a shack at Bradys Lake is the ease of launching and storage of my boat. It now looks like I have to increase my travel time and fuel cost if I want to go fishing during your time of survey and construction over 3 to 4 years, not to mention a degraded view and possible stench of exposed mud and decaying water grasses. Also there is no mention of quality and affect on fish stock during this process.

    Marcus McCarthy asked 16 days ago

    Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for getting in touch and sharing your concerns. 

    From your question, I wonder if there is some confusion around the timing and duration of our works and potential impacts. Our expectation is that you should be able to fish Bronte Lagoon and the Bradys chain (Bradys, Binney and Tungatinah) for the duration of the main works – I’ve added some more information to expand on this view but welcome your further feedback.

    This month, we’re completing technical tests and environmental and heritage surveys – this preliminary work is expected to take approximately 2 weeks and during this time, boat ramp access is not advised. A critical aspect of our survey works will be mapping representative areas of existing plant life in the lakes – the extent, abundance and diversity of plant life can affect the ecology of the lake and these surveys will help us better understand and manage potential impacts posed by the works. Our expectation is that these will be limited: unfortunately, there is a small chance that individual fish may get stranded as the water drops but we don’t anticipate any negative population-level effects. The upcoming surveys will allow us to check and confirm this expectation. Trout stocks in Bradys Lake are monitored by the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) as part of the Tasmanian Inland Recreational Fisheries Management Plan 2018-2028. The IFS are aware of the works and have not raised concerns around impacts to fish stocks.  

    The commencement date for the major upgrade works at Bradys Dam are still be determined, however, they’ll last approximately 5 months. During this time, water levels will be down slightly but remain within the typical operating range. Recreation amenities, including boat ramps and campgrounds around the Bradys chain will remain open. Given the forecast water levels will be within normal summer fluctuations, we anticipate other conditions will be within your normal experience. As always, be vigilant for underwater hazards, particularly around the margins of the lake as they are a common feature of Tasmania’s inland waterways.

    In scheduling any works, our aim is always to minimise impacts as much as possible. Based on everything we know and have been told to-date, we expect you’ll be able to freely use and enjoy the Bradys chain pretty much as normal. I hope this provides some reassurance and if you’d like to discuss further, please give me a call.

    Cheers

    Jane