More than 450 homes and businesses in Wandong-Heathcote Junction will soon have access to cheaper and cleaner energy, with the Victorian Coalition Government and Envestra reaching an agreement to connect the town to the state’s natural gas network.
Acting Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan announced the agreement today, another triumph of the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund – $1 billion quarantined for regional and rural spending.
“This excellent project will see more than 450 Wandong-Heathcote Junction households and businesses get the option to switch to natural gas, which generally costs about one-third the price of bottled gas,” Mr Ryan said.
“These savings will spur development in Wandong-Heathcote Junction, making it more attractive to residents and businesses. It is an example of the Coalition Government building for growth, and investing in a prosperous future for this important regional community.
“Envestra will oversee construction of approximately 1.3 kilometres of supply and trunk pipeline and more than 11 kilometres of reticulation pipeline to connect the town to natural gas, and the network can be extended as Wandong-Heathcote Junction grows.
“Opportunities to develop existing businesses and establish new ones will give the local economy a significant boost, and lead to a better quality of life for residents.
“The Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, set aside specifically for regional and rural spending, has delivered yet another victory for regional and rural Victorians.”
Mr Ryan said it was estimated that Wandong-Heathcote Junction would have access to natural gas by the end of 2015, pending approval from the Australian Energy Regulator.
“In order for the development agreement to be completed, Envestra is conducting a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study to finalise a detailed project design and costs,” Mr Ryan said.
“The FEED study commenced in April and is expected to be completed in July 2013, with the aim being to have Wandong-Heathcote Junction connected to natural gas by 2015.”
Meanwhile, Mr Ryan said Labor’s regional spokesperson Jacinta Allan, along with Labor member for Northern Victoria Candy Broad and Federal Labor MP for McEwen Rob Mitchell, should apologise to the people of Wandong-Heathcote Junction for their blatant scaremongering and dog-whistle politics.
“Ms Allan, Ms Broad, Mr Mitchell and Labor deliberately created uncertainty in the Wandong-Heathcote Junction business community for the sake of some cheap political points. They have aimed to create the impression that the Coalition would not deliver gas, repeatedly trying to scare Wandong-Heathcote Junction residents and businesses,” Mr Ryan said.
“Labor confirmed in 2010 that it would connect no more regional towns to gas. The Coalition Government has delivered, no thanks to the constant claims it couldn’t be done – and whingeing and whining – from Labor.”
For more information about Wandong-Heathcote Junction’s connection, please visit http://www.envestra.com.au. Read More
Peter Ryan MLA
Member for Gippsland South | Deputy Premier
Minister for State Development | Minister for Regional and Rural Development