Remarks at Snowy Hydro's 70th anniversary celebrations Cooma, New South Wales

Transcript

19 October 2019

E&OE

ANGUS TAYLOR: Thank you Paul. It is just absolutely wonderful to be here with Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Minister Bronnie, Mayor Peter Beer, Noel, and of course Paul from Snowy, but all of you who have contributed to this incredible project, this fantastic organisation over the period of time since it has come into existence - 70 years of course, the celebration we are here for today.

I am very proud to be Energy Minister at the time when Snowy is playing such a crucial role in our nation, and Paul has outlined that well.

For me, there is no other project in Australia that better connects us between the past and the future.

We all know this is an iconic engineering project. All of you have heard that many times before - the nineteen dams, the hundreds of kilometres of pipelines and aqueducts - it undoubtedly was an extraordinary engineering feat by Australian standards, and of course by global standards.

But it connects the past with the future through our immigration policy as well. This was a project that changed quite literally the face of the nation - 30 different countries, two thirds of the workers coming out of war torn Europe.  

At its heart Snowy had a very simple principle that I was brought up with, and that everyone who worked on it understood well, that you’ll get a go if you have a go.

That is what the Snowy workers did. They had a go like no other group I have ever seen in my lifetime.

I saw it time and time again - the extraordinary contribution they made to our nation - and the way they told their stories and continue to tell their stories to this day about the contribution that has been made by that extraordinary group of people, many of whom are here today. Thank you. Thank you for what you’ve done.

But of course the project connects the past with the future in a very different way through Snowy 2.0.

This was and should be celebrated as the greatest renewable energy project built in Australian history. There’s no question about that.

But it is also now, through Snowy 2.0, helping to address the challenges of our electricity system as we look forward.

With 25 per cent of Australians with solar cells on their roofs producing more electricity than we need in the middle of the day, very often, we have to be able to store that energy from the cells on your roofs so we can quite literally use that energy on a rainy day, so we can use that energy when the sun goes down.

That’s what Snowy 2.0 gives us. 350,000 megawatt hours of storage. That’s the equivalent of several hundred billion dollars of investment in batteries - we can do in Tantagara dam. That’s what Snowy 2.0 is doing for us.

In the process it will bring down electricity prices, reduce volatility to prices and importantly keep those jobs in energy intensive businesses right across the east coast of Australia and put downward pressure on electricity bills for all of us while keeping the lights on when we desperately need it.

That connection with the past and the future is something we can all be proud of.

Everyone who has worked on the Snowy and continues to work on the Snowy - there’ll be thousands working on this project, and I know many local businesses involved - you can all be proud at what Snowy has delivered and will deliver for many, many years to come.

Thank you again for having me here today.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction