The NSW government has given planning approval to the Snowy 2.0 hydroelectricity scheme expansion, clearing the way for major works and new jobs in the region.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced the approval on Thursday during a visit to Tumut and said it would "mean new jobs, big investment and big infrastructure for regional NSW".
Mr Barilaro also visited a tree replanting program for the region's commercial plantations that were significantly damaged by the Dunns Road bushfire.
"Snowy Hydro is an icon of our community, with Snowy 2.0 already employing about 500 people, directly injecting more than $35 million into the Snowy Mountains and involving more than 100 local businesses," Mr Barilaro said.
"This latest approval will see the creation of an extra 2000 jobs during the construction phase, unlock billions of investment in regional NSW and allow the next stage of construction to further progress this legacy project."
The project involves the construction of a pumped-hydro power station that will sit about 800 metres underground and 27 kilometres of new tunnels between the Talbingo and Tantangara Reservoirs, lined with 130,500 concrete segments manufactured at Polo Flat.
Riverina MP and federal Infrastructure and Regional Development minister Michael McCormack said Snowy 2.0 had already been a "massive project" for the Snowy Valleys.
"It has brought benefits for Cabramurra, Tumut, Talbingo, all those areas," he said.
"Many of those areas are in part of Snowy Valleys hard hit by bushfires and [Snowy 2.0] has brought an enormous boost not just to the number of workers but also to real estate prices in those areas, particularly Tumut.
"Not only that, it will in the future of course be environmentally safe and sound, but go a long way to assisting with our energy needs."
Mr McCormack said the $4.6 billion paid from the Commonwealth for the NSW government to take over its share in the Snowy Hydro scheme would go towards projects in regional areas.
"The benefits of that are being seen far and wide in many of the sporting ground upgrades and town hall refurbishments and many of the projects that regional Australia and in the Riverina."
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the project's approval includes strict conditions to minimise and offset environmental impacts, including $100 million to protect threatened species and deliver long-term conservation and recreation benefits in Kosciuszko National Park.