WA Government 'very optimistic' about proposal to extend pipeline to Albany
The West Australian Government is considering an unsolicited proposal to extend the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline to Albany after it promised progress by 2016.
State Development Minister Bill Marmion told Parliament it was “good news for the assembly”.
“We have received a strong unsolicited proposal to build the pipeline which is currently being examined and assessed for cost, specifications of the pipeline, the actual route and also the commercial viability,” Mr Marmion said.
“It’s a very good proposal and we’re very optimistic that it can be delivered.”
The Liberal Party made a commitment to the pipeline extension before the 2008 election and in the lead up to the 2013 election the Government said the project would be completed by 2015.
But in 2014, Premier Colin Barnett conceded the pipeline would not be completed because of a cost blowout in the budget.
However, May’s 2016–17 budget saw funding remain at $12 million in 2018–19.
An adamant Mr Barnett promised more progress in 2016 but said the problem was finding a major gas customer.
Albany MP Peter Watson said the proposal was unrealistic.
“We asked in Parliament any details and the Minister had no idea what was happening,” Mr Watson said.
“It seems to come up round about election time for the last three elections.
“I think people in Albany have given up on it, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Mr Watson said he would support funding for the Albany ring road.
“The ring road is very important to take away all the trucks off the top roundabout in Albany, people in Albany want that more than they want a gas pipeline,” he said.
Mr Marmion has been contacted for further details about the proposal.