The township of Rawson is 4 km north of Erica, 34 km north of Moe and about 135 km east of Melbourne. The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works built the town to house workers involved in the construction of the Thomson Dam. The first stage of the Thomson project, a tunnel linking the upper Thomson River with the Yarra valley, was completed in the early 1970s. After a diversion dam had been built on the upper reaches of the river, work began on the dam wall, in a narrow gorge some 15 km north of the township site.

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