My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Regional and Rural Development. It is in relation to the extension of natural gas to Terang in western Victoria. Prior to the last state election the member for Polwarth in the Legislative Assembly, Mr Mulder, who is now the Minister for Public Transport, promised the delivery of natural gas to the township of Terang — one of 12 towns that would be fast-tracked to allow councils to move swiftly on the project.
In May 2011 Mr Mulder posed for a photograph in the Warrnambool Standard with long-time Terang resident and former Corangamite shire councillor Jim O’Brien, who had been campaigning tirelessly for several decades for natural gas connections in Terang. In the article Mr Mulder explained that Terang would be fast-tracked for natural gas extension.
However, recently a letter to the editor appeared in a local Terang newspaper, and I think it is worth quoting from it. It is from Jim O’Brien, who says:
“Has this gas project been dropped by our government in its quest to save money? In November I rang the Melbourne office of our local member Terry Mulder, MP, to inquire as to what is happening to the connection of natural gas into Terang. I was informed Mr Mulder was not available and an answer to my query would be within five days.
I still have not received the call. I then wrote to Mr Mulder again with the question, ‘What is happening with gas connections to Terang?’. Again, I received no reply.
In mid-January I wrote to Peter Ryan, MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional and Rural Development, with the same question, ‘What is happening to the gas line connection into Terang?’
As yet, I have received no reply.”
What I am seeking this evening is that the minister inform me, inform the people of Terang and of course inform Jim O’Brien about when this government will honour its commitment to extend natural gas to Terang and when exactly the project will be completed.