NSW's stake in Snowy a matter of debate

A PUBLIC forum on the sale of the New South Wales Government's stake in Snowy Hydro has seen Finance Minister John Della Bosca agree to a parliamentary debate on the issue.
NSW's stake in Snowy a matter of debate NSW's stake in Snowy a matter of debate NSW's stake in Snowy a matter of debate NSW's stake in Snowy a matter of debate NSW's stake in Snowy a matter of debate

Della Bosca attended the public forum last Thursday night in Cooma, situated in the Snowy Mountains region in the southern highlands of NSW.

More than 200 members of the public attended the forum to voice their opposition to the sale, questioning the NSW Government's ability to ensure the long-term security of environmental flows released from the dam into the region once the utility becomes an entirely private entity.

The finance minister told the forum that the public interest would be protected, regardless of the nationality of future owners, as the water flowing to and from the dam remained a public resource.

Speakers at the forum reiterated accusations that the NSW Government sale of Snowy Hydro was simply an attempt to balance the state's accounts with a quick cash injection, regardless of the impact on the environment and water security.

Della Bosca ended up agreeing to a parliamentary debate on the sale, prompting Greens infrastructure spokesperson Sheila Hale to suggest the minister had "caved in" to public pressure.

"When I moved to have the Parliament debate the sale in April, the Government used its numbers to stop the debate," Hale said.

"I am pleased that public pressure has changed the minister's mind. I look forward to the minister supporting a debate when I move a motion on the Snowy when Parliament resumes."

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