Gas pipeline should include Manjimup and Katanning: Nationals
WA’s Regional Development Minister Terry Redman says he will fight for both Manjimup and Katanning to be serviced with reticulated gas as part of a long-delayed plan to build a pipeline to Albany.
The extension of the Dampier to Bunbury pipeline was a 2008 Barnett Government election commitment but has yet to come to fruition due to a lack of demand from industry.
However, Premier Colin Barnett last week confirmed the plan was back on after a development bid by Canadian energy infrastructure company ATCO.
ATCO is reportedly planning to build the pipeline through Katanning, which differs from the State Government sanctioned south-west route through Manjimup and Bridgetown.
A total of $7 million has been set aside in successive state budgets to plan the Manjimup route and acquire land.
Mr Redman said he would tell Cabinet there should be no compromise on the delivery of reticulated gas to Manjimup, and flagged using Royalties for Regions money to support the project.
“I’m going to insist on both Manjimup and Katanning having a natural gas solution whether it be a pipeline, a spur line or in fact the pipeline itself goes through both those communities,” he said.
“It’s important that if there is a change that happens that we have a solution for those two communities because that’s the expectation that we have.”
Compulsory land acquisitions flagged
Meanwhile, Liberal MP Murray Cowper said he feared landowners along the alternative Katanning corridor could face compulsory acquisitions.
Mr Cowper said 37 of his constituents in Murray-Wellington took legal action against the State Government when the Forrest Highway was built through their properties.
“Where it goes through your land, I want to make sure the Government pay you on just and fair terms,” he said.
“If they come in and start acquiring land for this pipeline, what will happen is that they’ll offer an amount that will be way under value to what you believe your land is worth.
“I’m calling for an land and environment court similar to what they do in New South Wales where people can have certainty about getting proper value for their land.”
Mr Cowper said regardless of whether the pipe was built below or above ground, landowners would be impacted.
“Either way, you’re going to have a buffer zone around your property,” he said.
ATCO and State Development Minister Bill Marmion have been contacted for comment.