A $6.52 MILLION state offer has bolstered Terang’s hopes of being connected to natural gas.
The state government has offered the fixed price subsidy to Victoria’s three gas distributors to reticulate the town.
Corangamite Shire chief executive officer Andrew Mason described the subsidy offer as “an important milestone”.
“What this means is that gas companies now have an improved appetite for reticulating Terang because they would receive $6.52 million towards the project.
“They are now assessing the offer and certainly the council is hopeful one of them will see it as an opportunity to capitalise on. We are certainly talking to the companies and advocating for the Terang community — both residential and business.”
Mr Mason said the government’s offer had been calculated by Regional Development Victoria based on estimated peak loads, access to existing natural gas pipeline routes, likely construction conditions and the length of pipeline required.
“This would be a significant project, with more than 21 kilometres of pipeline required to transport gas to the town from Cobden and a further 14 kilometres to pipe it around the town itself.
“It should be noted that, while the government’s specifications on which the subsidy has been calculated do include reticulation to the majority of residential streets, the plan does not extend to properties north of the railway line and a few other outlying streets.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean those streets would miss out.
“A gas company that takes up the offer may decide to reticulate further — especially if a high number of residents in those streets indicate they would take up the offer to connect.”
Terang resident Jim O’Brien welcomed the government’s commitment but could not understand why the area north of the railway line was missing out in the initial funding stream.
The former shire councillor, who has been a vocal advocate for natural gas for many years, said there were already large drains and pipes under the line and it should be relatively easy for a gas main to go through.
“They were able to go under the line in Camperdown.”
He said more than 100 existing houses would not be serviced if the northern outskirts of town were excluded from the scheme. “All the north of the town has been earmarked for future residential development so it would make sense to extend the gas to there.”
He said there were about 100 blocks likely to be opened up in the area around Littles Lane and McCrae Street in future years. The shire’s sustainable development director Ian Gibb said mapping for the project was “only indicative” and the gas wholesalers could determine the exact area to be covered based on public interest.