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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

20 January 2000

SNOWY HYDRO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has ordered an Environmental Impact Statement on the implementation of Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority corporatisation plan.

Senator Hill said the EIS process will ensure the public is fully informed on all environmental issues associated with corporatisation prior to the proclamation of Commonwealth legislation.

"The process will enable full examination of the proposal to increase environmental flows to the Snowy, with emphasis on how they might affect the future health of the Murray River," Senator Hill said.

Specific issues to be addressed include:

Senator Hill said the EIS will be conducted by the project proponent, the Commonwealth Department of Industry Science and Resources and is expected to be completed within six months.

It is the first time in Australia's history that the Commonwealth has called for an environmental impact statement on a corporatisation proposal.

"This comprehensive assessment will ensure that all governments and stakeholders are properly informed to ensure the best possible outcome in the national interest.

"A draft EIS will be released for a period of public consultation to allow further community input on this important issue," Senator Hill said.

EIS Guidelines are on the Environment Australia website: www.environment.gov.au

Media contact: Rod Bruem (02) 62 77 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia