CICCC Update—13 September 2001 Meeting

Confusion and uncertainty about the future of Coode Island

The CICCC meeting on 13 September 2001 welcomed Allen Hugli, the Chief Financial Officer of Burns Philp, who is taking over the helm at Terminals Pty Ltd. Allen, who has been a Director of Terminals for three years, said “Terminals would like to remain in business at Coode Island, but we don’t have long term leases. We are continuing to look at different scenarios for our western sites.”

“Terminals must work within the framework the Government has set” Allen Hugli continued. “We will have to commence demolition and soil remediation on the eastern side of Mackenzie Road in May 2002, order to quit the eastern site by January 2004.”

The Gap in supply

Recent government statements have asserted that there will be no “gap” between Terminals vacating their eastern sites, and Marstel coming on stream to take over supply of some hazardous liquids for Victoria’s chemical industry. This proposition is becoming harder to defend, with benzene already being imported from Sydney by road tanker. On the evidence presented to CICCC, unless contingency plans are developed, a gap of many months in the capacity to store benzene and propylene oxide at Coode Island appears inevitable.

Jim Clements of EPA told the Committee that the Marstel draft Works Approval application was originally expected to have been lodged last week. Marstel has withdrawn its announced timetable, and EPA is unaware when Marstel will submit their draft application.

Emergency communication

Eddie Knight, City Works Manager for Hobsons Bay City Council attended the meeting at the invitation of the Committee. He confirmed that neither residents nor Council received timely notification of the Mobil petrol spill into the Maribyrnong River on 5th July 2001. He advised the Committee of emergency communication measures taken at the Altona complex—where there is an environment phone line, and testing of the central community siren is done every Sunday.

Theo Pykoulus, the Municipal Emergency Resource Officer, told the Committee that there was a need for the Cities of Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay to work together on industries on their shared boundary. He said the CICCC meeting had begun a closer dialogue between the two cities on emergency management.

Maribyrnong City Council has called a meeting of the nine companies involved in operating Major Hazard Facilities around the Footscray/Spotswood area, to engage them in cooperative efforts to improve communication. Robin Betz of the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner will brief the next meeting of the CICCC on the progress with the pilot study on emergency communication they are undertaking jointly with the Maribyrnong City Council.

Certificate training program

Carlo Fasilino, Terminals Coode Island Manager, told the Committee about the operator training program run by the Gordon TAFE at Terminal’s Coode Island site. Framework training to consolidate basic competencies is the first stage, and modules reflecting operational procedures are in the pipeline.

CICCC Web Site

The CICCC Web Site has had over 1300 visits in the last month—a record number of visits. It may be found at

Next meeting of the CICCC

Members of the public are welcome to attend the next meeting of the CICCC on Thursday 11th October 2001 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 19 September 2001