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Snowy Corporatisation takes another step.



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SNOWY CORPORATISATION TAKES ANOTHER STEP 12 November 2000

12 November 2000           00/521 

SNOWY CORPORATISATION TAKES ANOTHER STEP  Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin has welcomed the response to the Environmental Impact Statement for the corporatisation of the Snowy Scheme, released publicly today by Environment Minister Senator Hill. 

"As Minister responsible for the Corporatisation of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, I have a statutory requirement to be satisfied with the conduct, outcome and planned implementation of the Snowy Water Inquiry," said Senator Minchin. 

"Senator Hill's response to the EIS forms part of that procedure and marks another step in the consultative process for the corporatisation of the Snowy Scheme. 

"Last month the New South Wales and Victorian Governments presented the Commonwealth with an agreed proposed outcome to the Snowy Water Inquiry. It acknowledged the wide range of stakeholder interests and the need to balance competing environmental needs in the Snowy River catchment and in the Murray-Darling Basin.  

"The Commonwealth Government has been waiting to consider Senator Hill's response to the EIS before responding to the proposed outcome as put forward by NSW and Victoria.

"I have been working closely with both State Governments with the aim of finalising the process for corporatisation by 1 January 2001.  

"I am pleased that Senator Hill's response has determined that there are no environmental reasons why corporatisation should not proceed and I acknowledge his endorsement of the need for increased flows down both the Snowy and Murray Rivers. 

"The Commonwealth Government remains committed to the corporatisation of the Snowy Scheme and the enormous benefits it will bring to Australians. It will ensure that mainland Australia's largest renewable generator is able to operate in

the National Electricity Market on the same basis as all other generators." 

Media contact: Jennifer Eddy 0419 432 664 

CMR611-00

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