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2.0 jobs boom

Prime Minister Scott Morrison takes a peek inside the Tumut 3 facility at Talbingo on Tuesday.

Thousands of new jobs will be generated across the region following this week’s announcement of the expansion of the Snowy Hydro project yesterday.

The government is spruiking that the project will create 2400 construction jobs throughout the seven year time-span of the project, which will see a new tunnel built between Talbingo and Tantangara Dams, along with an underground power station.

Significantly, Snowy Hydro is also already talking up the prospect of further expansion, suggesting Snowy 3.0, and possibly 4.0, will be required due to the influx of solar and wind projects expected to come on stream in the next decade.

The government said up to 5000 indirect jobs would also be created from now until the end of construction of Snowy 2.0 in 2024-2025.

While not all those jobs will come out of the Tumut area, Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro Fiona Kotvojs said the project would generate significant economic activity for the region.

“As well the influx of new jobs, the opportunities for local businesses, improvements in local infrastructure and increased local economic activity will transform our region,” Dr Kotvojs said.

“As well as securing our renewable energy future, the project will be a boon for the Snowy Mountains region, in particular the towns of Cooma, Jindabyne, Adaminaby, Talbingo, Tumut and Tumbarumba.”

An accommodation camp housing a couple of hundred workers will be set up at Lob’s Hole, just south of Talbingo, with roadworks to the village expected to begin this week.

The Government will commit up to $1.38 billion in an equity investment for Snowy 2.0, with the remainder of the project to be financed by Snowy Hydro Limited.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Talbingo on Tuesday to announce the government’s approval of the project, expected to cost between $3.7 billion and $4.5 billion.

Mr Morrison said Snowy 2.0 was “groundbreaking in every sense.”

“It’s something that all Australians can have a great sense of pride about,” Mr Morrison said.  “This is what vision looks like. It will transform not only this area, but our nation in the same way the first (Snowy) project did.”

Mr Morrison tipped his hat to his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, who championed the project.

He noted Snowy 2.0 will be the second largest pumped hydro scheme in the world, bettered only by a power station in Iceland.

“This is a huge investment in Australia’s future, not just our climate future, but our economic future,” Mr Morrison said.