Wednesday 16 October 2013


Hansard of the Legislative Council





[2.43 p.m.]

Mr FINCH (Question) - My question is to the honourable leader. What consideration has the government given to redeploying workers from the when it scales down to installing more stages of the natural gas network? While NBN workers will already be OHS and workplace compliant, with many of the skills necessary for pipe-laying, what consideration has been given to training of apprentices and technicians for domestic insulation work and ongoing maintenance? When will potential natural gas users be properly informed on when and where the network might be extended?

Mr FARRELL - Mr President, I thank the honourable member for Rosevears for his questions.

(1) The redeployment of NBN construction crews to do natural gas work is unlikely to occur since there are no planned significant extensions to the gas network.

(2) TasGas networks have an ongoing complement of crews for the ongoing task of installing domestic connections.

(3) The position of the government is that the extension of the natural gas network to residential areas will occur through organic growth where it is underpinned through new substantial gas-consuming industrial or large commercial developments that might be in the locality. An example of this is the proposed extension of the Port Latta to Smithton pipeline which will provide gas to the food processing industries in Smithton. Some reticulation to parts of the town may be possible in areas close to the trunk pipeline. Similarly, in 2012 a gas pipeline was extended to Simplot's Ulverstone potato processing factory. This has allowed areas of Ulverstone to get access to gas.