The council has asked the state and federal governments to consider laying gas pipelines in trenches alongside the fibre optic cables which will connect homes to the network.
Alderman Peter Sexton says only 20 per cent of Tasmanian households have access to natural gas.
“Running gas pipes through the trenches that are being opened up for the national broadband rollout would both add value to the national broadband process and would also provide desperately needed natural gas infrastructure for Tasmanians,”? he said.
“Natural gas costs about half what electricity costs to heat a house and given that many Tasmanian households are struggling to pay their spiralling electricity bills, this is much needed infrastructure.
“Natural gas infrastructure is extremely important at the moment as Australia is looking toward a low emissions future. Gas is the obvious transition fuel for heating, cooking, and hot water as we shift from oil and coal to renewable sources of energy.
“We have at least 100 years’ worth of gas left. Tasmania’s requirements for dry coal-fired electricity could be reduced to zero.”?
Dr Sexton suggested that parallel gas distribution infrastructure could be an important issue nationwide when the national broadband network is installed, and encouraged all state and federal governments to consider this as an option.