130517 rel ETU Abbott Snowy Hydro Sale (PDF)

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Media Release
Friday, 17 May 2013

Hundreds of Snowy Hydro jobs at risk under Abbott’s
Commission of Audit
The Snowy Hydro looks set to be sold off, with hundreds of jobs lost from the region, if the Coalition
wins this year’s federal election, the Electrical Trades Union has warned.
ETU Secretary Steve Butler said Tony Abbott’s budget reply speech would have sent a shiver down
spines across the region.
“We have grave concerns for the future of the Snowy Hydro after Mr Abbott’s budget reply speech,”
Mr Butler said.
“The Opposition Leader has committed to a federal commission of audit. Experience from both
NSW and Queensland state commissions of audit shows what will happen: it will recommend to sell
commonwealth assets including the federal government’s 13 per cent stake in Snowy Hydro.
“It is highly likely that the audit will recommend the wholesale privatisation of the iconic Snowy
Hydro, which would be a devastating blow for the region.
“Snowy Hydro is one of the largest employers in the region. Its sale would put hundreds of jobs at
risk, because the buyer will already have an established head office either overseas, or in Sydney
or Melbourne.
“But an equally painful blow to the region would come from lost revenue. The public would lose
millions of dollars in dividends that currently help fund vital services like schools, hospitals and
Mr Butler said the federal election in September would be a pivotal moment in the Snowy Hydro’s
proud history.
“Ben Chifley would be turning in his grave at the prospect of privatising Snowy Hydro, a project of
vision and foresight that his government supported back in 1949 for the benefit of future
“The federal election will now be a referendum in Eden-Monaro on whether or not to privatise the
Snowy Hydro,” he said.
“Labor has categorically ruled out any sale of the Commonwealth Government’s 13 per cent stake
in Snowy Hydro, which effectively secures public ownership of the asset should Labor win the
“The choice for Eden-Monaro voters is clear: a Coalition government that will sell Snowy Hydro or a
Labor government that will keep it in public hands.”
Further Comment: Steve Butler 0414 877 679
Further Info: Paul Lister 0408 231 858

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