Snowy Hydro expansion could build on cultural positivity of original

THE SEQUEL: Mikelangelo's Mikel Simic feels the 'Snowy Hydro 2.0' sequel will be a 'positive thing culturally' for the region and Australia. Picture: Supplied
THE SEQUEL: Mikelangelo's Mikel Simic feels the 'Snowy Hydro 2.0' sequel will be a 'positive thing culturally' for the region and Australia. Picture: Supplied

Mikelangelo's Mikel Simic is a product of the positivity immigration has brought to Australia.

For Mr Simic, the government’s announcement of the Hollywood-esque titled "Snowy Hydro 2.0" project should carry the ethos of the initial scheme, and bring people of different cultures together.

“If it indeed happens it will be a positive thing culturally,” he said from his home half-an-hour outside Cooma.

“We are facing a similar humanitarian crisis right now as in World War 2, and if the project can be used to bring Afghans, Iranians and Palestinians together, for example, it would be a beautiful thing.”

The entertainer’s father landed in Sydney as a migrant worker after leaving what was then known as Yugoslavia, and worked on the original Snowy Hydro-Electric Scheme with men from all over the world.

“It shines the light on how the Australian economy was built on migration,” Mr Simic said.

“We didn’t have the labour, and people came looking for new lives.”

He said the government’s announcement brought up mixed feelings, as the $2billion investment will depend entirely on the natural water supply and threats to it by introduced species, climate change, and the loss of wetlands.

“My gut reaction was ‘oh that’s exciting’, because it was such a heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s, but then I thought there might be a few ramifications that come with it.” he said.

“As a climate change believer it is great, but it will be a massive environmental change for the area.

“Now, 70 years on, we are in a very different world where it’s about adapting to our environment, not changing it for our advantage.

“Other renewables are waiting there to be used,” he said.

Mr Simic’s 2016 album After the Flood, recorded with The Black Sea Gentlemen, was solely based on the scheme and how it relates to contemporary Australia.

“You can see politicians on camera not knowing what to say, because the ground is shifting around them and they don’t know what they’re doing,” he said.