MEDIA RELEASE CICCC Update—13 December 2001 Meeting

Security at Coode Island

At the CICCC meeting on 13 December 2001, Ahsan Aziz of Melbourne Port Corporation (MPC) informed the Committee about new security arrangements at Coode Island. The existing gatehouse was introduced after the 1991 fires and explosion. It has been costly to operate and not particularly effective.

Following a review of security at Coode Island, MPC is letting a contract to light the east bank of the Maribyrnong River, install a closed circuit TV monitor along the east bank of the Maribyrnong River and at the entrance to Coode Island, and increase signage warning unauthorised people not to trespass.

The contract is expected to be awarded in early February, with the works being completed by May or June 2002. Some community representatives sought public access to the open space at the south end of Coode Island. MPC does not intend to provide public access due to the hazardous nature of the area and hopes to find a commercial tenant for vacant area.

Vapour emissions

Terminals tabled a copy of their Licence Amendment Proposal to upgrade the Vapour Emissions Control System (VECS). Their proposal is similar to that in the Works Approval they were granted in 2000, and includes two combustors, with 20 metre high exhaust stacks. Cameron Fitzgerald from EPA told the Committee that Terminals had greatly improved their benzene emission compliance. In the last month, they exceeded the Licence level of 51g/minute only once, and then only marginally. Cameron advised that the performance of the plant would improve even more following the upgrade of the VECS.

George told the Committee that to achieve the better compliance with the benzene emissions, Terminals are having to replace the carbon beds monthly.

EPA Works Approval procedures

EPA invited the Committee to attend a public hearing regarding the draft works approval application by Marstel Terminals on 19 December 2001. Community members protested at the short notice for this meeting, and EPA will request Marstel to brief the Community Members on the draft on Thursday 20 December 2001.

Cameron also advised that if the EPA accepts the draft, the 21-day statutory time for comments might commence on 26 December 2001. Community members expressed dismay and concern that EPA could contemplate commencing the submission period on Boxing Day. The City of Maribyrnong also wrote to EPA supporting the concerns raised at the CICCC meeting.

EPA has now advised that in light of these concerns, the likely date for the public comment period to commence would be Wednesday 16 January 2002. EPA will accept submissions prior to the convening of the public hearing currently scheduled for 28 February 2002. EPA has now posted the works approval application on its internet site (


Deborah Macfarlane, a community member of CICCC, told the Committee of discussions she has had with Primary and Secondary Schools near Coode Island. She will prepare material about Coode Island for use by the schools next year. There was considerable interest in the material, both at Primary and Secondary levels.

Terminals future operations

George Horman, Terminals’ Victorian Manager, told the Committee that Terminals had now secured long term contracts for the supply of acrylates to Orica. The lease arrangements with MPC are close to resolution, and the way forward for Terminals at Coode Island should be clearer within the next month.

Next meeting of the CICCC

Members of the public are welcome to attend the next meeting of the CICCC on Thursday 14th February 2002 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 17 December 2001