Firefighters hose down the ruptured gas main at the corner of Magellan and Diadem streets in Lismore last Thursday.
Firefighters hose down the ruptured gas main at the corner of Magellan and Diadem streets in Lismore last Thursday. Cathy Adams

Ruptured gas main not listed

THE owner of a ruptured gas main in Lismore that triggered last week’s explosion at St Vincent’s Hospital has vowed to ‘take action’ to make its gas lines more visible.

After an investigation into the gas leak on the corner of Magellan and Diadem streets last Thursday, The Northern Star can report the gas main was not on a map supplied by safeguard service Dial Before You Dig, because Elgas, which owns the main, is not registered with the NSW branch.

The contractors responsible for the gas leak said they called Dial Before You Dig to check for underground utilities, and after hitting the gas pipe one contractor was reported saying it ‘wasn’t meant to be there’.

It is not known if the contractors contacted the Lismore City Council to check for any utilities not registered with Dial Before You Dig.

Elgas media liaison officer Warring Neilsen said Elgas would take action to become a member, but said it was up to the contractors to find all utility locations before commencing ground work.

“The contractors should have made an effort to make sure there were no gas lines. They should have contacted council to find out about where they were,” he said.

“I would have thought any person digging should be going to the council as well to check what is there.

“Elgas will take the necessary action to make sure that we are involved (with Dial Before You Dig).”

Mr Neilsen said the council had a reticulation map showing allunderground utilities in its area.

Dial Before You Dig is a member association and John Croxson, from the National Utility Locating Contractors Association, said there was legislation currently before State Parliament to make membership of Dial Before you Dig mandatory.

Goonellabah man John McAlister, who was injured in the explosion at St Vincent’s Hospital resulting from the ruptured gas main, is still in a serious condition in Royal Brisbane Hospital.



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