During the Second World War, electricity generation and distribution proved to be strategically crucial to factories and plants involved in producing goods and services for the war effort, such as the light arms factory at Lithgow, NSW, manufacturing the famous Owen submachine gun.
In 1944, the Department of Post-War Reconstruction released a study highlighting the increasing importance of this source of power. It advocated a fully developed electric economy, the interconnection of power systems on a broad scale and the exploitation of the large potential supplies on the Snowy River in NSW, the Tully in Queensland and the Ord River in Western Australia. It was the blueprint for the pursuit in future of Australia's energy policy.
Video: Beginning of Snowy Mountains Scheme