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Victorian govt finalises Snowy Hydro sale

The Victorian government has finalised the sale of its share in Snowy Hydro Limited to the federal government, in a vital step for Canberra’s energy plans.

The Commonwealth will pay Victoria more than $2 billion which the state Labor government has promised to spend on regional infrastructure projects and school upgrades.

Both Victoria and NSW have sold their shares in the electricity generation company, which allows the Turnbull government to proceed with its planned $4.5 billion expansion of the scheme to benefit the east coast electricity grid.

The Victorian government said on Friday that regional projects financed by the sale would include the expansion of the Wonthaggi and Ballarat Base Hospitals, an upgrade for the Shepparton rail line and repairs to regional roads.

It also ensured there would be no changes to the state’s existing water arrangements – a critical issue for farmers and the environment.

Treasurer and Resources Minister Tim Pallas said Friday marked “an historic achievement for our state”.

The Victorian Liberal-Nationals opposition’s plan for the Snowy Hydro sale proceeds was to use it to remove traffic congestion on Melbourne metropolitan roads – a pledge made in the lead up to the November state election.

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