Water, Water managment, water markets

Murray Darling Basin: Make Snowy Hydro sale water-tight

18 May 2017

PETER HUNT, The Weekly Times
May 17, 2017 12:00am
IRRIGATORS are calling on the Federal Government to ensure the $5.2 billion purchase of NSW and Victoria’s shares in Snowy Hydro goes back to Murray Darling Basin water infrastructure and communities.

The Commonwealth already holds a 13 per cent stake in the corporation. But last week federal Treasurer Scott Morrison offered to buy out the NSW Government’s 58 per cent stake in Snowy Hydro as well as Victoria’s 29 per cent shareholding.

In last week’s Budget speech Mr Morrison said all funds the states received needed to be reinvested in priority infrastructure projects.

Victorian Farmers Federation water council chairman Richard Anderson said irrigators needed legislated guarantees that Snowy Hydro could never be privatised and all proceeds from a Federal Government takeover would go straight back to MDB water infrastructure and communities.

“Putting the money back into the basin is all about water-use efficiency, the environment and delivering food security for all Australians,” Mr Anderson said.

NSW Irrigators Council chief executive Mark McKenzie said if there was an infrastructure gap in the delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan’s projects, the Snowy Hydro proceeds should be ­directed to it.

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