A new partnership between Deniliquin Council and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley aims to work towards gaining access to funding for a feasibility study on connecting natural gas to Deniliquin.CASS SAVELLIS February 18, 2014 4:30am
Deniliquin Council is working with Member for Farrer Sussan Ley to access funding for a feasibility study on connecting natural gas to Deniliquin.
Deniliquin Council announced the partnership at a recent business chamber roundtable meeting.
A study would be the first official step in getting the connection.
Council has been pushing for a natural gas connection for more than a decade.
It stepped up its push following the conversion of state forests to National Parks in July 2010, which has limited local access to firewood.
Council manager economic and business development John Harvie says he is working with Ms Ley to access funding for the study.
‘‘We have a quote to conduct a feasibility study of a natural gas supply to Deniliquin and are now seeking funding options for it,’’ Mr Harvie said.
‘‘The study would identify where the natural gas connection would come from and how much it would cost.
‘‘We hope it would be completed by the end of April.’’
Ms Ley said ‘‘a feasibility study was the logical first step to help ascertain whether or not governments can also play a role in bringing gas to the region’’.
‘‘The natural gas network we can potentially tap into is privately owned, with decisions about extending it based on a cost-benefit analysis,’’ she said.
‘‘The good news is a similar study has been conducted on the Victorian side of the border, which means most of the groundwork has already been done.
‘‘I have already started efforts to obtain some funding for the study, with the hope we can get things up and running as soon as possible.’’
Deniliquin Business Chamber executive officer Lisa Berges said ‘‘any development in getting natural gas is a bonus’’.
‘‘The (possible) study seems to be a positive step,’’ Mrs Berges said.
‘‘Not having the connection does have an impact on new and existing businesses in town.
‘‘If it gets closer to achieving this goal, then chamber certainly supports it.’’
Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick said Deniliquin was ‘‘lucky’’ to have the support of Ms Ley.
‘‘I think we have come a long way toward getting a connection,’’ he said.
‘‘When we met with Sussan when she was last in Deniliquin she said there would be not shortcuts to getting the connection.’’
Ms Ley has previously said funding for the natural gas connection could come from the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program funding, to be allocated once all states have signed off on the basin plan.
NSW is expected to get one third of the $100 million fund.
Ms Ley is personally campaigning for the funding to be used to link gas connections to Deniliquin and Mathoura.
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