One of the roles of Division of Energy, Water, Regulation & Portfolio Strategy is overseeing regulations for the safety and integrity of gas networks licensed under the Gas Supply Act 1996.
The term 'gas network' collectively identifies in-ground reticulation systems that are used to convey gas within a defined area or district. Supply of this gas may come from a transmission pipeline, a bulk tank or a process plant.
To construct and operate a gas network requires a licence which is granted under the Gas Supply Act 1996. An application to obtain a licence is processed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Requirements of the Act and the associated Regulations must then be met in all respects.
There are ten licensed gas network operators within New South Wales. Six of these are authorised to reticulate natural gas, and four are authorised to reticulate liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or a variant of LPG, such as tempered liquefied petroleum gas (TLPG) or simulated natural gas (SNG). A list of licensed gas network operators is available from the licensing authority, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
All gases reticulated through gas networks are required to conform to an Australian Standard or a specification to ensure that the gas is safe to use in approved products.
A combined total of over 28,000 km of gas network piping exists within the state, and matters relative to the safety and integrity of these networks are administered and monitored by the Department under legislation.
Under the Gas Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2013, network operators must develop and implement a Safety and Operating Plan, which is then used to monitor the ongoing performance of the network operator.