Central West towns like Young will “absolutely” benefit from the $4.15 billion proceeds of the sale of the NSW government’s share of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Deputy Premier John Barilaro has assured.
Last week the federal government announced it had secured sole ownership of the Snowy project by buying NSW and Victoria’s shares for a total of $6 billion.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro wasted no time in announcing the money would be used exclusively for regional projects.
Mr Barilaro said the Central West would get a good percentage of that money and said it would go towards visionary projects.
Shadow Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Adam Searle said Labor welcomed the State Government using an Opposition policy for the betterment of regional constituents.
"We announced at the Cootamundra by-election that we'd spend 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of snowy hydro in regional Australia," he said.
"It is good to see the State Government adopting at least some of our policy by committing these proceeds to the bush; they now need to come the rest of the way and deliver energy justice for the community.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the sale of the NSW government’s share of the Snowy Hydro to the Commonwealth would see a cash injection into regional NSW.
“I’m thrilled to announce every cent of this money will be spent on infrastructure projects in the bush - in electorates just like ours," she said.
“I’d love to see some of these funds continue the vital work the NSW government is doing to improve connectivity- linking people and product through investment in visionary communications technology, roads and rail, to turbocharge our economies.
"Locally, the installation of a mobile phone tower at Murringo in July last year finally elevated that community out of a black spot and into the modern world of business and life online.
“I want to see this good work continue- we recognise that connectivity is the future and we need to do more both in Hilltops and across the electorate.”
However, Mr Barilaro stressed the government would take time to determine what the money would be spent on.
“Every MP will be looking to secure funding for their region and they will have a chance to say what they think it should go towards,” he said. “It sounds cliched but this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see a windfall of $4.15 billion for regional areas that wasn’t there yesterday, and we want to use it right.”