Hydro Tasmania said that, while it welcomed the council’s decision, the company believes that the requirements for a replacement woodstave pipeline are beyond the scope of the council’s consideration. The company added that it has an agreement with the Tasmanian Heritage Council that stipulates that it will only carry out the development if it is economically feasible.

The Lake Margaret power station was shut down in June 2006 as a result of Hydro Tasmania’s concerns about the safety of the 69-year-old woodstave pipeline. Hydro Tasmania said that, since then, it has been working closely with the local community to determine the future of the power station and its associated assets.

The two possible outcomes for the power station were released to the public for comment in October 2006. The proposals outlined were either to refurbish the existing power station, or to install a new generator close to the facility. Both require the replacement of the existing woodstave pipeline with a steel, woodstave or fibreglass pipeline, Hydro Tasmania said.

Andrew Catchpole, Hydro Tasmania’s general manager of communications and external relations, said that the refurbishment of the existing power station and the replacement of the pipeline with woodstave had emerged as the public preferences.

Mr Catchpole added that the company would go through the process of obtaining detailed redevelopment costs before seeking capital funding for the project, and that the company would work through all possible options for the power plant over the next 12 months alongside the Lake Margaret community liaison group.