Avoca residents and business owners now have access to natural gas, with AusNet Services completing the installation of an underground gas pipeline to the town.
AusNet Services representatives, the Pyrenees Shire Mayor Ron Eason and Chief Executive Officer Jim Nolan joined Avoca resident Lyn Mather and The Avoca Hotel owner Ian Urquhart today to celebrate the installation.
Lyn was the first household customer connected to the gas network last month and The Avoca Hotel will be the first business to be connected.
AusNet Services’ Gas Delivery Manager Joanne Soysa said the installation was great news for the Avoca community.
“We estimate that more than 700 Avoca residents and businesses now have access to natural gas,” Ms Soysa said.
“By connecting, they can enjoy the benefits of natural gas for cooking, heating and hot water systems, replacing the need to use bottled gas, electricity and fire wood.
“We are providing customers choice and access to a convenient, cost effective energy supply, which is good for business.”
Construction of the underground gas network began in May 2015 and involved extending the underground supply pipeline from Greenhill Creek Road along the Sunraysia Highway nearly nine kilometres to Avoca.
More than 16.5 kilometres of pipeline was then installed to homes and businesses throughout the town.
The extension of natural gas to Avoca was completed as part of the Victorian Government’s Regional Gas Infrastructure Program.
“We thank the Victorian Government for its contribution through the Regional Gas Infrastructure Program that has made it possible for Avoca to have access to natural gas," Ms Soysa said.
Ms Soysa also thanked the community for accommodating AusNet Services’ crews while the network was constructed.
“We’ve done it safely and without incident, while minimising disruption as much as we could,” she said.
Pyrenees Shire Council Mayor Ron Eason said the natural gas connection would make Avoca a more attractive place to live, work or invest in.
“The cost savings of using natural gas will benefit not only our businesses but also our residents,” Mayor Eason said.
Before gas can be used, a service pipe from the street to the house and any internal pipes must be installed, and a gas meter fitted.
People interested in connecting to natural gas can lodge an application with Energy Australia, Avoca’s natural gas retailer, for connection to the network (email@example.com or 1800 818 378).
Under State Government natural gas extension programs, AusNet Services connected gas to 12 Victorians towns: Barwon Heads, Camperdown, Creswick, Gisborne, Lancefield, Macedon, Maiden Gully, New Gisborne, Port Fairy, Riddells Creek, Romsey, and Woodend. Avoca joins Huntly and Winchelsea as the third of four towns to be connected to the main Victorian natural gas grid under the current program. The connection to the final town, Bannockburn, is still under construction.
For information about AusNet Services’ natural gas network please visit www.ausnetservices.com.au
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