Invermay residents right to feel aggrieved over natural gas

 IT seems incomprehensible that in the day and age of modern Australian infrastructure that a suburb five minutes’ drive from Ballarat’s central business area does not have access to natural gas.

Invermay, home to hundreds of residents, has been on the natural gas government hit list since it promised before the 2010 state election to expand the network.

To quote Nationals leader Peter Ryan from 2010: “It is hard to believe that 40 years after the natural gas network was installed in Victoria and 11 years after Labor came to power, so many of our regional towns still cannot access this valuable and readily available resource.”

We couldn’t agree more.

The problem seemingly is that gas distributors believe that it is not affordable to expand to many of the towns identified by the Baillieu government.

Government sweeteners, in the form of subsidies, are on the table and will hopefully provide an outcome in the coming weeks. Yet, there is little clarity on how distributors will respond and at what cost it might come to residents.

Given the government is more than two years into its term, residents of Invermay deserve an answer. If the government cannot deliver a cost-effective method of natural gas, it should tell those who are impacted. The spiralling cost of LPG creates an imperative to resolve the issue and to do it quickly. This newspaper fully supports the government initiatives to help grow our communities, and natural gas is indelible to achieving these goals. 

Australia mourns a friend

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch lived a full and rich life.

An example, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard put it, of kindness, humility and grace, Dame Elisabeth was a benevolent woman of few peers.

A friend to the arts, to children and community, the world is worse off for the passing of Australia’s best known, and loved, media matriarch.

While it may be the males in the Murdoch clan that capture most public attention, it was Dame Elisabeth whose contribution to community can never be overstated.