A POWER company has promised to start a “high level” study on delivering natural gas to Mortlake.
But more businesses will need to relocate to the town if there is to be any hope of linking the pipelines, according to Moyne Shire.
The council is in talks with energy group SP AusNet on establishing a natural gas supply to Mortlake which now relies on expensive LPG gas bottles.
A company spokesman confirmed there was an agreement with Moyne Shire to launch a feasibility study.
It’s been a lingering question for locals as to why Mortlake, which has an $800-million gas-fired power station, cannot be connected to natural gas.
A number of regional towns including Terang have been promised natural gas under a state government initiative.
In December last year, Moyne Shire passed a motion calling on the government to put Mortlake on a priority list along with Terang.
But Moyne Shire corporate business manager Mitchell Rowe told The Standard there was a business case to answer for. “It’s not as simple as getting a name on a list,” Mr Rowe said. High-pressure gas lines connected to Origin Energy’s power station would need work to facilitate supply to homes and businesses.
“A fair amount of infrastructure is required to change the pressure to make it suitable for the town,” Mr Rowe said. He was unaware what costs would be involved.
“It could be raised with the state government but if they’re only going to pay lip service ... the way I think they can help is to encourage businesses who are a major use of gas to move to Mortlake.”
SP AusNet are yet to provide further details on when the study will start.