Residents of Mildura will soon have greater access to natural gas for domestic and industrial use, with a major upgrade of the city's gas distribution network announced today by Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan.
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had reached agreement with Envestra Limited for the $10.1 million Mildura gas capacity expansion project, which was among the first to be delivered under the $100 million Energy for the Regions program.
"This is wonderful news for the residents of Mildura, who will soon have much more reliable and expanded access to natural gas, which is a cheaper energy source that is also better for the environment," Mr Ryan said.
"This project will increase the capacity of the Mildura Transmission Pipeline by 50 per cent and enable the connection of new domestic and industrial customers to the network," Mr Ryan said.
"Subject to the outcome of a final engineering and design study, it is expected that the project will be completed by late 2013."
Member for Mildura Peter Crisp welcomed the announcement and said it would have major economic benefits for the region.
"Natural gas is a cheaper and cleaner source of energy that can lower annual household costs by anywhere between $600 and $1200," Mr Crisp said.
"The expanded capacity will also give local industry greater opportunity to capitalise on a cheaper energy supply, which will have significant flow-on benefits."
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government's $100 million Energy for the Regions program would help build greater prosperity and better quality of life for regional Victorians.
"The government will now focus on the delivery of natural gas to other priority communities including Avoca, Lakes Entrance, Invermay, Winchelsea, Heathcote, Orbost, Warburton, Marong, Bannockburn, Terang, Wandong-Heathcote Junction and Maldon," Mr Ryan said.
The Energy for the Regions program is funded through the Coalition Government's $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.