DEPUTY Premier Peter Ryan phoned us a few months ago to declare his determination to deliver on a key Coalition promise.
There will be a lot of disappointed National supporters if Mr Ryan cannot get his natural gas pipe rolled out soon.
A dozen Victorian towns have been heartened by Coalition promises to provide cheap energy.
Natural gas would help secure their future, at a time when these mid-size communities desperately need a lifeline.
But two years after winning government, there is movement on only two of these communities, the easiest nuts to crack.
In government, Mr Ryan has discovered the force of his will and a $100 million sweetener is not enough to sway commercial realities.
First Mr Ryan asked the gas companies nicely to build a pipeline to connect the towns, just as had been promised.
The negative response apparently came as a shock.
Then came a second tender, offering a subsidy for the supply of the gas, again through a pipeline.
The tender closes this month but interest is again said to be weak.
Mr Ryan is not waiting for more disappointment. Already we have a third tender, which abandons the original promise of a pipeline. This plan calls for the building of giant-sized tanks on the outskirts of these towns.
It seems a desperate move.
Also, we are still waiting for the $1 million feasibility study for a 500km natural gas pipeline in the Murray Valley, which was commissioned last year.
There have been a lot of electoral disappointments over the past two years. The Coalition needs to deliver on the big promises, and Mr Ryan knows it.