Coode Island Committee Update

At its meeting on 24th February, community and environmental representatives on the Coode Island Community Consultative Committee (CICCC) expressed their anger and dismay about the Government’s decision to leave bulk liquid hazardous chemical storage at Coode Island (see the Special Press Release dated 25 February 2000).

“The processes set in place by Government require a major upgrade of the Coode Island Bulk liquid terminal and at the same time consolidation of the facilities onto the western side of Mackenzie Road” Terminals manager, Peter Reddie told the Committee.

“This will involve the construction of a new facility on the site previously occupied by BP and redevelopment of existing remaining sites. In doing so the geographic centre of the facility will shift closer to residential areas.”

“We need to work closely with the community in the preparation of our EPA Works Approval application as plans are developed for the upgrade. Safety at Coode Island is a key issue for the community and for Terminals. Our objective is to implement the consolidation and upgrade in a way that improves safety to out employees, neighbouring industrial sites and the broader community. Substantial environmental improvements are also expected” Peter said.

The Committee discussed Terminals proposals for upgrading the site, and considered the process and timing of preliminary design, the EPA Works Approval, the WorkCover Safety Case, and planning approval. The Committee requested that Terminals spend additional time beyond that originally scheduled for Committee and community consultation prior to lodging its formal EPA Works Approval application. Terminals manager, Peter Reddie, told the Committee that extra time would be allocated.

The Committee agreed to support a submission by the Maribyrnong City Council for Commonwealth funding to assist in communication with residents who spoke languages other than English.

Cathy Aktypis told the Committee that the Kensington Association would be holding another Emergency Management Community Forum in the last week of March. She invited the CICCC to be involved in the Forum.

Carlo Fasolino presented the monthly report on the operations of Coode Island. He said that the first worker injury (a twisted ankle) resulting in lost working time in more than three years had occurred during the month. He also reported that Terminals had been fined $800 by EPA for an incorrect valve setting during the filling of an ethyl acrylate storage tank. Operators had been trying to control pressure levels in the tank, and in doing so had bypassed the scrubbers.

The WorkCover presentation on the Hazardous Substances Regulations was deferred to the next meeting, along with consideration of a possible ‘agreement’ between Terminals and its surrounding community. The Committee has invited Chris Vicary, the new manager of P&O Ports, to make a presentation to the next meeting of the CICCC. At that meeting, a major item will be the development of Ternminal’s plans for the upgrading of their site.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the next meeting of the CICCC on 23rd March 2000 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30pm

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 2 March 2000
Contact Phone 9853 7510 Fax 9853 7512 email