Snowy Hydro sell-off back in the spotlight

SNOWY Hydro was put back on the chopping block last week after the National Commission of Audit recommended the federal government sell-off the asset within two years.

Eight years after the state government was forced to can plans to privatise Snowy Hydro following stiff public opposition, the Audit listed the generator as ripe for market picking alongside Australia Post and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Analysts estimate the sale could pump more than $2 billion into the government's coffers, with the proceeds to be spread between co-owners the NSW and Victorian governments.

However, the sale already appears unlikely to get the green light.

When quizzed by the Express on the issue, Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Peter Hendy said his government had no plans to sell-off Snowy Hydro.

"My position against Snowy Hydro being privatised remains unchanged," Dr Hendy said.

"This Commission of Audit Report does not represent the Government's policy.

"I have assurances at senior levels of government Snowy Hydro will not be privatised."

The state government also moved quickly to stress their opposition to Snowy Hydro being privatised.

"I've been on the phone to the NSW Treasurer, Andrew Constance, last night [Thursday] and the message is clear - the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government are not looking to divest their share of this great community asset," Member for Monaro John Barilaro said.

"The people in my community remember all too well that it was thanks to the former Howard Government Minister Gary Nairn that Snowy Hydro was not sold by the former NSW Labor Government...."

Mr Barilaro said the state government is happy with the current corporatised model of Snowy Hydro as it is delivering the best outcome for the community, company and the government.

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