AN announcement that would see natural gas supplied to Terang has been cautiously welcomed by Corangamite Shire mayor Chris O’Connor who said a delivery date would go a long way to satisfying locals.
The state government and the federal opposition said reticulated natural gas would be available through an investment partnership between the two, if the Coalition wins power this weekend.
If successful, Nationals member for Western Victoria David O’Brien said the partnership would allow the state government to go ahead with an $85 million tender process to use compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) to connect small communities to natural gas, including Terang.
Cr O’Connor said confirmation of gas for Terang was always welcome.
“I believe there has always been a preference for piped gas but I understand there are cost issues related to laying new pipe,” he said.
“I am prepared to take the word of Peter Ryan that the cost delivery of compressed gas transported by road is equivalent to that of piped gas but I think the community would like that confirmed by industry experts.
“Secondly, I think a confirmed date of delivery of the project would go a long way to satisfying the strained patience around the town since this was first promised over two years ago.”
Mr O’Brien said the announcement was great news for Terang because it would unlock investment potential and lower residential gas prices for the region.
“For some time the community of Terang has sought reticulated natural gas and we are now one step closer to it becoming a reality,” he said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan, who announced funding for the tender in Heathcote yesterday, said CNG and LNG provided the same level of capacity, affordability and convenience for households, small business and industry as connecting to conventional piped gas from the grid.
“Alternative delivery solutions such as CNG and LNG are proven technology and represent a new opportunity for regional Victoria and have a particular relevance for smaller and more remote communities,” Mr Ryan said yesterday.
“While natural gas has historically been transmitted by pipelines, the high cost of laying pipe has resulted in an increasing incidence of ‘virtual pipeline’ solutions for the transmission of natural gas.
“These solutions typically involve the gas being transported by road to a storage location on the outskirts of a town and from there it enters the reticulation network for supply to homes and businesses.”
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan welcomed the announcement which he said was terrific for Terang.
He said it was a good example of the co-operation between the federal Coalition and the state government working together to implement policy.
Mr Tehan said if elected on September 7 he looked forward to working with the state government to ensure gas was delivered to Terang.