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Debate over natural gas for Deniliquin

Murray Shire Council discussed the idea of a natural gas to Deniliquin last week.

RHIANNON HORRELL August 26, 2014 3:04am

The idea of a natural gas supply to Deniliquin was briefly discussed by Murray Shire councillors this week, but mayor Tom Weyrich said on Wednesday it remained a ‘‘pie in the sky’’ idea.Deniliquin Council has been pushing for a natural gas connection for many years and the gas would potentially be directed to the region from Moama or Finley.Ms Stork received a letter from Deniliquin Council seeking a contribution towards the cost of a feasibility study.

This is expected to cost up to $80,000.

She has written back to ask what measures are being taken to seek funding at a state and federal level.

Cr Weyrich said in discussions he had had with the Deniliquin mayor, he had raised the issue of natural gas and would support it, depending on the cost to Murray Shire.

But he did express concern about its viability as he believed the gas line out of Moama could not be extended at this stage without major upgrades in Victoria.

‘‘It’s a good idea to have natural gas but in terms of the commercial aspect, the numbers don’t add up,’’ he said.

Natural gas was also on the agenda during a recent delegation to Sydney, which Ms Stork and Cr Weyrich attended as part of the Riverina and Murray Regional Organisation of Councils.

The pair met with staff from Planning Minister Pru Goward’s office.

‘‘There was an interesting conversation regarding the natural gas that Deniliquin has been looking at,’’ Ms Stork said.

‘‘It was pretty clear (the staff) didn’t know anything about that and their suggestion was that they need to make sure they lobby the Premier who is responsible for major infrastructure projects.’’

Mayor Tom Weyrich agreed and said it was blank looks all round when he broached the subject.

‘‘(But) my information is there’s been several approaches to the minister’s department in relation to natural gas,’’ he said.

Rhiannon Horrell

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