Gas pipeline. Is there a better way?

May 28, 2008

The front page report that appeared in the Northern Daily Leader on May 28, “Gas plans in pipeline” makes for challenging reading. The proposal, to pump coal seam gas from south central Queensland, to Newcastle, to burn and generate electricity, is amazing, in its expense, $1M per kilometre, its focus, on fossil fuels, and its location, the Hunter Valley where our base load coal burning power stations are currently located.

On July 17 and 18, Bingara and District VISION 20/20 are hosting a regional forum titled Regenerative Energy for Rural Communities. We will be asking the question “Is there a better way to provide electricity in NSW?” We do not think a gas pipeline, Queensland to Newcastle, is a better way.

We are assembling the top people in the fields of future needs and systems, economic analysis, electricity generation and power delivery. We think that an effective electricity grid system with each community along the grid encouraged to devise its best means of feeding electricity into the grid will result in lower costs, lower emissions, and reliable, community building electricity.

We will ask the questions, how much of the electricity, generated in the Hunter Valley, is lost in transmission back to rural communities? What costs and infrastructure will it take for wind, solar, tidal, hydro and geothermal options, to be, fully investigated, developed and linked into a national grid? And, when will long term benefits over-ride short term political expediency, and enable our decision makers to take off their blinkers and plan for our children’s future?

We hope to receive positive answers, and we hope that our decision makers will be listening.

Rick Hutton
Secretary, Bingara and District VISION 20/20