Coode Island Committee Update

Terminals Pty Ltd sale process

At the CICCC meeting on 13 June 2002, Michael Regan of Burns Philp told the Committee that the sale process for Terminals Pty Ltd is proceeding smoothly. Burns Philp hope to have a sale contract finalised in all respects by the end of this month (June 2002).
It is anticipated that the entity Terminals Pty Ltd will continue to exist, with new ownership. The present contractual commitments of Terminals Pty Ltd will be picked up by the new owners, including:

  • the lease arrangements with Melbourne Ports Corporation;
  • the EPA licence and Environment Improvement Plan requirements;
  • ongoing consultation with the community required under EPA and Worksafe approvals; and
  • safety case requirements from Worksafe.

Lease extension
Discussions are continuing between Burns Philp and the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development to extend the lease on the east side of Mackenzie Road for an additional six months until the end of January 2005. The extended lease is necessary to ensure supply of benzene and propylene oxide until the Marstel development is available. A critical aspect of the timetable for the decommissioning of Terminals plant on the east of Mackenzie Road is the remediation of contaminated soil on the site.

Remediation options
Terminals had intended to treat the soil in situ, which would require quite a lengthy period. To shorten this time, offsite remediation is being considered. EPA has advised that on site remediation is not appropriate where heavy metal contamination is present or where there is a sensitivity to odour emissions. A further complexity arises from the discovery that the volume of contaminated soil has increased from initial estimates of 7,000 cubic metres to between 20,000 and 28,000 cubic metres. The source of contamination includes seepage from Terminals operations over the years, and also includes chemicals from previous users at Coode Island, and contaminants in the soil that was transported to Coode Island as fill many years ago.
EPA has given conditional approval to a Remediation Action Plan (RAP) that allows excavation of contaminated material, disposal off-site and backfilling of excavations with clean fill. The next step of the RAP will involve a detailed classification and delineation of the soil contamination. This study will help determine the disposal options for the contaminated soil.
A storage site has not yet been determined, and the remediation timetable has not yet been set. Decisions by the key players on these matters will be made in due course. The CICCC requested EPA to make a further presentation on the criteria for evaluating the options and proposals for community consultation at the next CICCC meeting.
The Committee expressed concern over the possibility that the contaminated soil could be removed offsite and dumped in landfill without treatment, and sought assurances from the EPA that it would require remediation of any soil removed from Coode Island.

Safety Case
The draft Safety Case for the Terminals’ Coode Island plant was tabled at the meeting. In introducing the draft Safety Case, Terminals’ Victorian General Manager George Horman stressed that it was an early draft, and that Worksafe now required additional work to cover the extension of operations on the east side of Mackenzie Road. The Committee asked its Environment Health and Safety sub-committee to meet with Terminals to review the Safety Case.

Terminals’ Environment Improvement Plan (EIP)
Terminals’ Environment Improvement Plan was circulated prior to the meeting, and is available on the CICCC web site. Issues raised by CICCC, including the need for environmental improvements to be quantified, will be addressed at the next meeting.

Options for the future of the Committee
John Luppino introduced a paper he had prepared for the Committee concerning the future of the CICCC, as Coode Island develops with two major bulk liquid chemical storage operators. John highlighted a number of issues that need attention, in particular the future involvement of the State Government, Melbourne Port Corporation and the Docklands Authority on any new committee.
The Committee thanked John for his effort and provided preliminary feedback on the paper, which will be revised and further considered at the next meeting. It is anticipated that the revised paper will then be widely available and will be posted to the web site.

Municipal boundary review
John Luppino advised the Committee that Rob Cameron, Minister for Local Government, has appointed an Inter-Departmental Committee to consider boundary changes to the Cities of Melbourne, Maribyrnong and Port Phillip. John said that the City of Maribyrnong was the smallest metropolitan city, and had one of the largest debts. It had made a submission to government making the case for the incorporation into the City of Maribyrnong of the docks area south of Footscray Road (which includes Coode Island) and west of Moonee Ponds Creek, plus the rail areas south of the main rail line through to Moonee Ponds Creek including the market areas.

Departmental appointments
The new chairman of EPA is Mick Bourke, who is presently CEO of City West Water.
The new Director of the Worksafe Major Hazards Division is Rob Sheers, who has a background with ICI Engineering.

Next meeting of the CICCC

Agenda items for the July meeting of the CICCC include the further development of the Environment Improvement Plan, discussion of the Safety Case and in particular the combustors, further advice on the soil remediation options, and discussion on future options for the Committee. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting on Thursday 13th June 2002 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm.

Robin Saunders
Chair CICCC,
17 June 2002 CICCC

12 Hodgson St
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