Legislation allowing the full scale operation of cloud seeding in the Snowy Mountains has passed through both houses of the NSW Parliament.
Member for Monaro John Barilaro led the debate for the Government, outlining the Liberal and Nationals Government's commitment to make the NSW ski fields number one again.
The move was welcomed by the former Member for Monaro Steve Whan who said that cloud seeding in the Snowy Mountains brought positive environmental and economic benefits.
Full scale cloud seeding follows a trial program by Snowy Hydro since 2004 which demonstrated an average increase of 14 per cent in snowfall in the region. The legislation which has now passed through Parliament allows for ongoing cloud seeding to take place over the entire Snowy water catchment of 5,117 square kilometres.
"Full scale cloud seeding will provide a welcome boost to the local economy through increased tourism numbers," Mr Barilaro said.
"Maintaining good snowfall will enhance the significant contribution alpine recreation makes to the local and NSW economy, and provide a boost to the many businesses which rely on the ski season and tourism."
The legislative changes include requirements for Snowy Hydro Limited to prepare and implement an Environmental Management Plan to be approved by the Government and regulatory oversight of cloud seeding operations by the Environmental Protection Agency.
"This legislation is long overdue after years of Labor Government disinterest in the potential advantages of cloud seeding," Mr Barilaro said.
"Unfortunately, my Labor predecessor was more concerned about securing Green preferences than achieving real results for our tourism-dependent communities."