The Victorian Government has sold its share in Snowy Hydro to the Federal Government.

In a vital step for federal energy plans, the Commonwealth will pay Victoria over $2 billion in order to proceed with its planned $4.5 billion expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme.

The Victorian Government says it will spend the money on regional projects including the expansion of the Wonthaggi and Ballarat Base Hospitals, upgrades for the Shepparton rail line and regional road repairs.

The sale should mean Victoria’s existing water arrangements do not change, which would be welcomed by farmers and the environment.

Victoria’s Treasurer and Resources Minister Tim Pallas said it is “an historic achievement for our state”.