Coode Island Committee Update

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Two New Community Representatives appointed to CICCC

Following successful advertising for two new CICCC community representatives, Robert Glavich and Andrew Clifton have been appointed to the Committee. Robert is a past member of CICCC, who resigned three years ago because of family commitments, and is now able to return to the Committee. Andrew has a long interest in environmental issues, serves on a number of community groups involved in the chemical industry in the western suburbs (including the Marstel Community Group), and lives in close proximity to Coode Island in Footscray. The CICCC is delighted to welcome these two new community representatives.

Terminals P/L looks to the future

The value of business through Terminals Pty Ltd Coode Island facility is set to more than halve in the near future, Australian Manager George Horman told the Committee. When Terminals Pty Ltd ceases the storage of benzene and propylene oxide (which Marstel will supply from their new facility on Coode Island) more than half of the existing storage capacity of 74,000 cubic metres will be demolished reducing the on going storage to 33,000 cubic metres. A realignment of the annual operating costs to match the reduced business activity means that the funding for the CICCC will reduce from the present $40,000 per year to about $10,000 per year. While the change in funding will not be immediate, clearly the Committee must develop a response to the new situation.

The Port of Melbourne Corporation buffer study

Nick Easy, Manager Port Logistics and Planning, addressed the Committee on the buffer study being undertaken by the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC). Nick outlined the three phases of the study: the Inception Report completed in July 2002; the ongoing work by PoMC, DoI, Councils and Agencies; and relevant tasks for the future.
The study aims to protect the future operations of the port, while addressing amenity issues for adjacent development. The Port of Melbourne has been growing at 8% per annum for the last 10 years, and is expected to continue to expand its throughput in the future. It is currently handling $70 billion of cargo per annum, with some 1.5 million containers (expressed as 20 foot unit equivalents) per annum.
The objective set out in Melbourne 2030 for the share of the port throughput handled by rail is 30%. Presently it is only 17% (including the entire volume trucked to Dynan Road for on-shipment by rail). To reach the 30% target poses a significant challenge.

The CICCC has advised PoMC of its concerns, which include the present inadequacies with the Ministerial arrangements for the Port of Melbourne Planning Scheme, the impact of road transport in the residential areas adjoining the port, and facility management on Coode Island (as evidenced by recent spills from Bentley Chemplax and Maribyrnong No 1 Wharf). The CICCC has advised the PoMC about the desirability of having a resident or environmental group representative included on the Reference Committee, and broadening the buffer study team to include a sociologist who can better research impacts of the port on the community.
The CICCC has invited Nick to present the draft findings of the study to a future CICCC meeting.

Redevelopment by Terminals Pty Ltd

George Horman advised the Committee of Terminals’ plans to remove a number of small flammable liquid tanks at the south end of Plant C West, and build (or relocate) larger tanks for non-hazardous materials in the area vacated. The smaller tanks were available for spot shipments of hazardous materials, but the small volume of turnover no longer justifies retaining them. Tanks to provide for the storage of 4,500 cubic metres of non-hazardous product will be provided in their place. This will bring the new configuration of the Terminals plant up to 37,500 cubic metres of storage capacity at the West side, still just half of the present 74,000 cubic metre storage capacity.
The redevelopment will also allow terminals room to treat two hotspots of organic contamination in the groundwater. While these two hotspots have been stabilised through the use of the Sparge Curtains, the redevelopment will allow direct access to the hotspots, and recovery piping will be installed in shallow trenches intersecting the contaminated strata.

Next meeting of the CICCC

The next meeting of the CICCC will be held on Thursday 11th September 2003 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting .

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC,
21 August 2003