Natural gas bid tops Ryan talks at Heathcote

MEET AND GREET: The Nationals candidate for Euroa Stephanie Ryan and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan met with about 30 people from Heathcote and district. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

MEET AND GREET: The Nationals candidate for Euroa Stephanie Ryan and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan met with about 30 people from Heathcote and district. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

AN announcement confirming a reticulated natural gas connection for Heathcote could be about a month away.

The natural gas issue was front and centre as Deputy Premier Peter Ryan met with about 30 local business representatives at the Heathcote Bowls Club on Tuesday.

Extending the town's sewerage network, which currently only covers two-thirds of Heathcote, as well as specific township infrastructure needs were also discussed during the hour-long meeting.

Heathcote Tourism president Philip Meehan was among the local representatives to take the opportunity to quiz the Deputy Premier.

Mr Meehan said those in attendance were pleased to hear about the progress in delivering a reticulated natural gas network for the town.

"There were a number of questions asked about reticulated natural gas for Heathcote," he said.

"We were told the tender was due in about four weeks.

"The group was respectful towards the Deputy Premier and the discussions were helpful and engaging."

The Nationals candidate for Euroa Stephanie Ryan organised the meeting, with three City of Greater Bendigo councillors also in attendance.

Ms Ryan said the meeting gave locals the opportunity to put their concerns to a senior Victorian Minister.

"Infrastructure issues generally were the focus of the discussions, which people feel are holding back the town's development," she said.

"The Coalition Government has been keen to move the Energy for the Regions program forward to benefit the towns still waiting for a natural gas connection."

Heathcote was included in the latest phase of the Energy for the Regions program, which included a tender process for energy companies to build a gas storage site on the edge of the towns.

Mr Ryan said Heathcote would received natural gas "by hook or by crook".

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