CICCC Update—14 December 2000 Meeting

At its meeting on 14 December 2000, the CICCC considered the outcomes of the EPA Works Approval process for Terminals’ upgrade proposals.

EPA representatives stated that EPA had paid particular attention to the concerns raised by local residents during assessment of the company’s application. “The conditions of the works approval include substantial additional requirements that ensure that emissions of hazardous materials such as benzene are substantially reduced” said EPA project manager Dr Marilyn Olliff.

Community members were disappointed with the report by Professor Ian Rae on the 20(B) Conference held to hear objectors’ concerns. Many issues they raised were either poorly reported, or not reported at all, and were omitted from Professor Rae’s recommendations. These issues included the design standards for Stages 2 and 3 of the proposed upgrade, public health and transport concerns, and concerns that the other statutory approval processes provided no opportunity for community involvement.

As community representative Faye Simpson put it “We have not been heard.”

The EPA representatives briefly reported on how they had implemented the 13 recommendations that Professor Rae did make. Four were adopted in Works Approval conditions. One more will be further considered following extensive monitoring of existing benzene levels. The remaining eight are outside the control of EPA, and will be referred to other agencies for their consideration.

The CICCC sought assurances from the EPA representatives that they would support the eight recommendations outside their control. “We will assiduously monitor the progress on these recommendations” said community representative Ian Thomas.

Terminals’ Victorian Manager, George Horman, said that while the application as submitted met the State Environmental Protection Policy requirements in every respect, the conditions set by the EPA in the approval require Terminals to spend an extra $1.5m plus on additional environmental controls.

The Committee was pleased to note the commitment by EPA Chairman Dr Brian Robinson to “…provide details of proposed EPA operating licence conditions for each phase for community comment prior to them being formally issued.” The CICCC will write to Dr Robinson seeking more detailed advice on the procedures proposed.

The next CICCC meeting will be held on Thursday 8 February 2001. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. Items on the agenda include further work on Emergency communication, and a review of the Committee’s future directions.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 18 December 2000