Planning and Environmental Approvals

The majority of the Snowy Scheme is located within Kosciuszko National Park, which we consider as our backyard. We take our duty to operate the Scheme in an environmentally responsible way very seriously and have a proven track record of doing this over many decades.

Before it can proceed, Snowy 2.0 must go through a comprehensive, well-established and transparent planning and environmental approvals process. Only once the relevant approvals are in place can construction of the Snowy 2.0 project begin.

Integral to the Snowy 2.0 planning process is the declaration by the NSW Government that the project is Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).

The CSSI declaration recognises the importance of the Snowy 2.0 project to NSW and sets out a clear and rigorous planning approval pathway that Snowy 2.0 must follow.

Because of the size and complexity of Snowy 2.0, the project is likely to be planned and executed in phases. Consistent with other large underground projects, the initial phase is for proposed exploratory works.

Comprehensive Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) will be developed for each phase, addressing the project’s environmental, social and economic impacts. The EIS will be submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) as part of the approval process.

Members of the community will have an opportunity to review each EIS and make a submission during the public exhibition period. After reviewing submissions, Snowy Hydro will prepare a report that responds to the issues raised.

The EIS and final reports will be considered by DPE when making an assessment and recommendation to the NSW Minister for Planning as to whether works should proceed or not. Approval from the Minister for Planning is required for Snowy Hydro to begin any construction works.

Approvals may also be required from the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Energy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).

There is more information about Snowy 2.0 exploratory works here. The exploratory works EIS is available here.