NSW Labor will support the sale of the Snowy Hydro scheme to the Federal Government – on the condition that every dollar is used in regional NSW, which includes the Illawarra region.

NSW Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park made the announcement today with local MPs Anna Watson and Paul Scully and said that the NSW Liberal and National Government had focused on Sydney for too long and the Illawarra should share in the benefits of this sale.

If the sale proceeds, Illawarra infrastructure projects will be eligible for funding through Infrastructure NSW, and no longer have to compete against multi-billion dollar Sydney projects.

Snowy Hydro Limited is currently owned by NSW (58%), Victoria (29%) and the Commonwealth (13%). Each shareholder has equal voting rights. Under NSW’s Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act 1997, the NSW Government may sell its share to the Commonwealth without further approval from the NSW Parliament. This means that the sale could proceed and be concluded relatively soon.

Snowy Hydro’s value is estimated between $6 billion – $7 billion. Industry estimates are that NSW’s share would be around $4 billion.

Projects would be prioritised around key infrastructure categories all of which are critical to our region including:

 Education

 Health

 Roads and Transport

 Culture and Sport

 Water Security

Quotes Attributable to NSW Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park:

“This is what happens when you have a local MP around the Shadow Cabinet table. I am proud that I have been able to stand up for our region and make sure we get the funds we need to improve our infrastructure.

‘This is a great commitment for our region. It means we will be eligible to access funding to improve critical job generating infrastructure across the region.

‘This is about ensuring regions are given just as big a priority as Sydney and that proceeds are going to exactly where they are needed.

Quotes attributable to Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson:

“Our region has been neglected by a Sydney focused Government. We have countless projects that have been sidelined by the Liberals.

“Shellharbour has been ignored and taken for fools by this Liberal Government. They have barely come near the place, including the invisible Premier.

“We need jobs growth and economic stimulation and that is exactly what this announcement will do”.

Quotes attributable to Member for Wollongong Paul Scully:

“Far too often we’ve seen budget blow-outs in Sydney that have meant Illawarra projects have been placed on the backburner and this commitment will mean we have a fair shot at our fair share.

“This announcement shows that Wollongong would never be the poor cousin of Sydney which is what we’ve experienced under the Liberals.”


17 May 2017