J. J. C. Bradfield, was born in Sandgate, Queensland and then worked for the Queensland railways, while proudly understanding the needs of the state.
He was the Founder and later President of the Sydney University Engineering Society, finishing with a masterís degree.
With his degree, he went on to become the Designer and Chief Engineer of the Sydney city metropolitan railway, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Story Bridge, Brisbane and the Cataract and Burrinjuck Dams.
In 1938, he proposed a scheme for the diversion of water from Queensland coastal rivers onto the Western side of the Great Dividing Range. The purpose was to build a number of dams to irrigate the western sides of NSW and Queensland while preventing flooding the very important farming, cattle and sheep regions of the states.
The plan coincided with the commencement of the mighty Snowy Mountain Scheme; a project that would cost eventually cost approx. $4.5 billion dollars.
The Bradfield proposal then held no priority as the cost would be many times that of the Snowy while at the time not considered a necessity.
Due to a combination of compelling factors, some being floods, drought, increased irrigation requirements, provision for vast employment and huge export capabilities, the project has been considered on many occasions by many people.
Each of many times the subject has been proposed it has been easy for governments to accept the many and various objections.
"Impossible to achieve, to expensive, or not required, evaporation ".
"Impossible to achieve". What an insult this is, to the man who had the foresight to design and engineer a bridge over Sydney harbour with eight traffic lanes, a protected pedestrian walkway and duel train tracks. The roadway is high enough for most cruise ships pass beneath, in days gone by even aircraft have flown under it. Bradfield then had the project accepted by parliament, at a time horse and carts were still the most predominant means of delivery on our roads. The man was brilliant, no construction designed by him would be impossible to complete.
Even to this day, his bridge is one of the world's most favoured tourist icons. We most certainly must complete his irrigation scheme, we owe it to his memory for all he has given us.
"To expensive". If the Bradfield scheme had commenced fifty years ago, today we would see, west of the Dividing Range, flowing rivers with many largely populated, prosperous towns in Southern Queensland, NSW and South Australia. We would not have wasted the 5 billion dollars spent Murry/Darling scheme, a scheme that will probably not be workable in years to come without the Bradfield Scheme in operation. Nothing is too expensive if it solves our countryside water problems while adding billions to our economy forever and a day.
"Not required". Several hydroelectric plants built with the dams, would produce power to help both our nation and climate change considerably. A massive amount of new machinery and vehicles together with concrete pipes, tunnels and tunnelling equipment would require manufacturing. The increase numbers in employment would be tremendous and forever lasting.
"Evaporation". This is the most feeble response of all, as to why the project should not proceed. The sheer volume of available wasted water from the Queensland rivers alone would irrigate and green forever the existing drought areas and assist with offsetting global warming. Water in deep dams evaporates more slowly due to its self-cooling properties. The largest portion of flowing water would be in tunnels and pipelines.
DON'T IGNORE THE SCHEME, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
To all those that say this is only a dam pipedream and technically not possible, I reply, show some foreword thinking and start thinking Dams and Pipes.
Read on - and then say our pipeine is not possibe to build.
For example, the smaller but much more difficult to construct Trans Alaskan Oil Pipeline.
The pipeline carries millions of barrels of oil a day using twelve pumping stations. It runs eight-hundred miles from Prudhoe Bay on the shore of the Arctic Ocean to the Valdez shipping terminal on the southern border of Alaska after crossing three mountain ranges and hundreds of riverbeds. The suspended pipeline is centre-mounted between pairs of pylons then sitting on a flexable bed mounted high enough for caribou, bears and people to pass beneath it.
Each pair of pylons are set sixty feet apart in a zigzag fashion adding miles to its entire length to allow for temperature change and earthquake movement.
To avoid the system from sinking into the permafrost after exposure to summer sunlight all day every day, refrigeration solar panels sit on top of every permafrost affected pylons.
Built especially for the project was a roadway over mountains, rivers and frozen ground for the entire distance, while being capable of carrying huge truckloads of equipment.
It was springtime 1991, the frozen Arctic Ocean was just starting to thaw where the sea met the shoreline. I was sitting in the conference room of the Prudhoe Bay Oil Terminal when told that this fourteen-year old scheme would only have oil for about twenty more years. The system would then be used to pump melted ice, to irrigate arid regions of the USA.
Thousands of protesters claimed that the Alaskan project was too expensive and impossible to build.
The critics were very wrong on both counts.