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Gas supply interruptions update - Central Western NSW

Monday, 07 November 2022 03:06:01 PM

Gas repair crews continue to make good progress to ensure customers across the Central Western region of NSW are re-connected to the network as quickly as possible.

Emergency services personnel including officers from NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW and SES have joined gas supplier Jemena to assist in re-connecting parts of Central Western NSW to the gas supply network, following a disruption to the main Young-Lithgow gas pipeline.

Since the Young-Lithgow pipeline was reported damaged last Wednesday (2 November 2022), more than 200 personnel, including volunteers, have assisted with the ‘make safe’ process.

Jemena advise that the networks will be returned in a systematic way and may mean that some that some customers come back on-line before others.

Pipeline valve reconfiguration has allowed gas to be resupplied to parts of Bathurst, with some 50% of customers already returned to the gas network. On current estimates, all Bathurst residents should have gas supply back in their homes and businesses in approximately one week.

For residents of Oberon, vulnerable customers have been prioritised, while other customers had their ‘make safe’ inspections completed yesterday, in preparation of the gas system coming back on-line in the coming weeks.

For residents of Lithgow, more than 75% of customers have had their ‘make safe’ inspections completed. The Australian Pipeline Authority (APA) have a compressed natural gas tanker arriving at Lithgow Hospital and expect to have the hospital gas lines on-line today.

Preparations for residents of Wallerawang are well advanced, with a ‘make safe’ operation commencing today, and plan to be completed by this evening (Monday 7 November 2022).

Crews are also well advanced in restoring gas to home and businesses in Raglan, White Rock and Kelso.

Temporary gas supply should be online for Oberon, Wallerawang and Lithgow early next week, following which Jemena crews will commence reconnection activities which is expected to take approximately a week.

As part of making the gas pipeline network safe and returning to normal gas supply, Jemena advise residents of the Central West may see an occasional flame burn ignite from gas burners. This is all part of the normal process of ensuring air is cleared from gas lines before re-instating gas supply.

Jemena Gas undertake a full risk assessment prior to lighting the burner and have their own safety protocols in place, including staff on site with extinguishers and gas detection equipment.

Fire and Rescue FRNSW (FRNSW) is also aware of the activities and will assist in the unlikely event of any issues arising from this process.

Where repair crews have been unable to access properties over the last few days, calling cards were left with directions on how to have their gas service restored. To date, repair crews have completed ‘make safe’ inspections at almost every property with gas in Bathurst, getting premises ready to re-connect to the gas supply network.

For people who have been impacted and have no other means of supporting themselves, Service NSW has established an emergency hotline.

If you or your household require immediate welfare assistance with:

  • Food - where gas is the only method available to cook for your household or,
  • Material Aid – for example blankets, heaters, or warm clothing - where gas is the only method of heating your home.

Please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Service NSW will be able to direct you to the available assistance or will register your request with the relevant welfare agencies.

The lines operating hours:

Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm

If you require general welfare support which falls outside the scope of this program - please contact your local community support services which can be located at:

https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/customer-support-service-infoxchange-service-seeker

As the main gas supplier to the Region, Jemena provide the following tips and warnings.

  • Do not attempt to connect liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to existing natural gas supply lines. Both gases work to different pressures and there is a strong likelihood of explosion.
  • Do not bring un-flued heaters or BBQs into the house for heating purposes. They produce carbon monoxide, which can cause people to lose consciousness and die as a result of inhalation.
  • Councils at Lithgow and Oberon have introduced hot showers for the community. For locations, go to the relevant local Council website.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) have also provided the following safety tips for customers

  • Outdoor cookers, BBQ’s and heaters, particularly those with charcoal beads, give off poisonous Carbon Monoxide gas and should never be used inside homes

  • FRNSW also warns the public not to use petrol-powered pumps, outdoor heaters or generators indoors due to the deadly CO gases that are produced

  • Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas that can build up in rooms and overwhelm people without warning, leading to death.

  • If you do intend to use fuel-powered equipment, ensure all areas are ventilated and carefully follow manufacturers' instructions

  • FRNSW has already witnessed a number of near-death incidents involving CO-producing outdoor cookers and heaters this year

  • Don’t risk your safety or that of your loved ones, keep them safe by leaving outdoor heat sources outside

Members of the public affected by the gas outage can stay up to date with the latest information via www.jemena.com.au/outages-and-faults/gas and https://www.apa.com.au/gas-supply-update/

In all life-threatening situations and emergencies, the public are advised to contact Triple Zero (000).