What's happening with Victoria's natural gas network?
Ensuring the security of gas supplies is high on the agenda for many state governments and none more so than Victoria's.
While it's not possible to connect every property to the natural gas network, every effort is being made to ensure the areas that are eligible can be hooked up as soon as possible.
The Victorian state government has announced that the first town has been connected to the natural gas network, which could lead the way for others to follow suit.
Getting Huntly connected
The town of Huntly is the first location to receive natural gas from the network, which has been made possible through the government's $100 million Energy for the Regions Program.
More than 180 properties have so far been hooked up to the network and it's likely that an additional 100 homes will soon follow suit.
"This investment means Huntly is no longer the poor cousin to Bendigo when it comes to natural gas, enabling the community to compete for new residents, new industry and new investment," said Deputy Premier Peter Ryan.
Investing in infrastructure
As you would probably expect, bringing natural gas to Huntly has been no easy feat, as significant investment has been made in infrastructure throughout the region.
Not only have three-and-a-half kilometres of supply pipeline been installed, but so have 13 kilometres of reticulation pipeline.
However, the state government reveals that the project was completed on time and within budget, with local people suffering as little disruption as possible.
Looking to the future
The success of the natural gas rollout in Huntly is likely to pave the way for similar projects in other locations across Victoria.
Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Greg Bickley has revealed that there are already plans in place to connect a new housing estate on Sawmill Road to the natural gas network.
A separate agreement has been reached to supply and connect 350 additional properties with natural gas, which will be in addition to the 580 connections already established in Huntly.
Improving the reliability of gas supplies is essential if Victoria and other states are to meet the energy needs of their residents, especially as the population is on the rise.
New and improved methods of delivering gas and electricity are being discovered all the time, giving governments a renewed focus as the pressure on networks becomes ever greater.
An $85 million tender is currently being negotiated along the Murray River, which could see compressed or liquefied natural gas delivered to key premises.
Posted by Jeremy Elliott