Coode Island Committee Update
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Terminals Pty Ltd sale process
The sale of Terminals Pty Ltd as a going concern by Burns Philp to Kaneb Pipe Line Operating Partnership was completed on 18th September 2002 for a price of about $83 million (AUD). George Horman continues to act as the Australian Managing Director for Terminals Pty Ltd. Fred Johnston, the President of ST Services (the terminaling part of Kaneb), who visited Melbourne late last month, told the community representatives “The terminal is in better shape today than it was four years ago and that made the acquisition even more attractive.”
Fred assured the CICCC community representatives that Kaneb supported the ongoing arrangements for the CICCC, and stood behind the commitment to further upgrade the facility and implement the Environmental Improvement Plan.
Marina proposal on the Kivelos site
Nick Easy, Manager Port Logistics & Planning, Melbourne Ports Corporation (MPC), told the Committee at its meeting on 10 October 2002, that MPC has given “in principle” approval to the Kivelos marina proposal subject to receipt of a formal development submission and compliance with all legislative requirements. The Kivelos site abuts the west side of the Maribyrnong River, from just south of Footscray Road to Lyons. Nick told the meeting that the proposed marina consists of 15 to 20 boats, a slipway, and amenities. The concept plans sighted for the marina proposal do not include a residential or restaurant component.
The Committee is concerned by three aspects of the proposal, and the way it may be approved. Firstly, there is the concern that land-use opposite Coode Island will be intensified. “Its analogous to having a nursing home opposite a rock concert venue” said Zoe Wood, the representative of PACIA (Plastics and Chemical Industry Association). George Horman stated that he was neutral regarding the marina proposal, but would be concerned if restaurants were included in the development.
The second Committee concern is that a marina within the Port of Melbourne Planning Scheme does not even need a planning permit. It is “as of right”. And even if a permit was required, there is no obligation for the Department of Infrastructure (DoI-the “Responsible Authority” for the Port of Melbourne planning scheme) to advertise the proposal. In fact, DoI did not advertise the planning permits required for either the $60 million Terminals upgrade proposal in 2000, nor the Marstel proposal in 2001.
The CICCC wrote to the Minister for Planning 18 months ago seeking to have the Port of Melbourne planning scheme brought into line with community expectations. We have received no response. Nick advised the Committee that MPC was about to prepare a review of the planning scheme, and the Committee sought assurances that it would be consulted during the development of the proposed amendment.
The third concern of the Committee is that MPC should consult with the neighbouring community about proposals, policies and practices that will impact on the community. The Committee has noted with pleasure reports that the new Managing Director of MPC, Dr Chris Whitaker, wants to encourage closer consultation with local communities. The issue of the marina, and the review of the planning scheme, will provide both an opportunity and a challenge for MPC’s consultative commitment.
Terminals’ Environment Improvement Plan (EIP)
George Horman outlined proposals for improvements to the collection and disposal of stormwater at the facility. Separate systems would be installed to areas such as tanker filling points (i.e. operational areas), where some stormwater contamination was probable, and to the general roadway areas and roofs of buildings where contamination was unlikely. In these latter areas, after the “first flush” of about ten minutes of heavy rainfall, stormwater would be discharged to the river. The “first flush” would be disposed to sewer or off site. The new system will greatly decrease the amount of water that needs to be sent off-site for treatment.
George advised the Committee of the results of a $371,000 study to more accurately determine the ground contamination at the site east of Mackenzie Road that is to be vacated by 31 January 2005. 384 bore holes were drilled over the site, to a depth of one and a half metres or more. Samples were taken at three levels in each bore hole, and analysed for heavy metals and hydrocarbons. The results showed considerable less contamination than originally estimated. Some 7,300 cubic metres of material will need to be removed to a low level disposal site, and 3,600 cubic metres will need to go to a prescribed fill.
John Luppino, the General Manager City Development at Maribyrnong City Council, alerted the Committee to the preparation of an Environment Effects Statement (EES) by the Victorian Channels Authority, for the proposal to deepen the shipping channel through the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. The proposal is seen as essential to allow the Port of Melbourne to remain competitive.
While the potential impacts on tidal movement and surge heights throughout the bay are included in the published scope of the EES, John drew attention to potential impacts that had been overlooked. These include the infrastructure that will be needed for the bigger ships such as strengthened wharves with deeper dredging, and the capacity to store and transport greater quantities of containers-these are expected to increase from 1.3 million per annum presently to 5 million per annum in 2020? The CICCC will seek further information on this proposal.
Melbourne 2030-planning for sustainable growth
The draft plan was announced last week by the Premier, with a vision statement as follows “In the next 30 years, Melbourne will grow by up to one million people and will consolidate its reputation as one of the most liveable, attractive and prosperous areas in the world for residents, business and visitors.” One of the policy initiatives is “4.3.2 Protect options for access to, and future development at, the ports of Melbourne, Geelong and Hastings, and ensure all port areas are protected by adequate buffer areas to prevent land use conflicts at the perimeter.” No detail is provide in relation to the proximity of Coode Island to the residential areas of Footscray and Yarraville, nor what an “adequate buffer” might be. The CICCC determined to make a submission on the draft Melbourne 2030.
Next meeting of the CICCC
Agenda items for the October meeting of the CICCC include the further discussion on the Environment Improvement Plan and an update from Robin Betts on the Emergency Management Pilot Project. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting on Thursday 14th November 2002 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm.
15 October 2002