Coode Island Community Consultative Committee Update

Meeting 27 April 2000

Terminals Pty Ltd outlined redevelopment plans for its site at Coode Island including proposals to spend between $35 and $50 million on new tanks, at the CICCC meeting on April 27.

The company’s Victorian Manager, George Horman told the meeting that work on the site was constrained by factors including the proximity to residential areas, the presence of the adjacent Tallowmaster facility and the existing road and services easements.

Mr Horman said Terminals would design the site with the following guidelines in place:

  • a one-way system for road traffic
  • grouping of similar products to improve emergency access
  • spill control from tanks and loading areas separated from site and road drainage
  • segregated areas for loading high hazard materials
  • above ground pipe work

Stage 1 of the development will have the capacity for 45,000 cubic metres (37 tanks) of chemicals including benzene, propylene oxide, acrylates, phenols, ethanol and other general chemicals. The company is investigating three layout options for the first stage, and will consider operational factors and quantified risk assessment (QRA), a tool which is useful in comparing the risks between options, thus allowing the selection of an option with the least overall risk.

Nic Hardy of Det Norske Veritas advised the Committee that preliminary QRA for the proposals had been carried out. The new QRAs demonstrated that, compared with the 1997 QRA for the site as it then was, the risk arising from the proposed layouts would be reduced from “just about significant” to “negligible” according to the draft risk criteria previously employed in Victoria. Factors which have had significant effects on the risk reduction include:

  • new gas detectors and foam blanketing in the acrylonitrile tank compound will halve the risk;
  • an expected reduction in the acrylonitrile throughput from 4,000 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes annually will halve the risk;
  • automated valves on all the tanks.


The Committee stressed that Terminals would need to ensure that risk information was clearly explained to the community.

Matthew Wylie of WorkCover told the Committee that the revised Major Hazard Facility Regulations were being reviewed by Parliamentary Counsel and were due to be announced in mid-May. Amendments are proposed on a wide range of issues, including issues raised by CICCC.

Mr Nick Easy from Melbourne Port Corporation, briefed the Committee on the development of the Port of Melbourne Strategy Plan and the Whole of Port Environmental Management Plan (EMP). Mr Easy told the Committee about a range of strategic and environmental issues which would guide the development of the plans. The Committee questioned whether the EMP would include energy use, greenhouse gas production particularly in relation to land transport, an Environmental Review Committee (including community representation) for the EMP and the development of a policy to promote openness and transparency. Mr Easy indicated a willingness to consider these matters.

The Committee endorsed the Emergency Management Sub-Committee’s report with minor amendment, and it will now be posted to the CICCC web site (

The next CICCC on Thursday, May 11, will focus on an overview of Terminals’ draft EPA Works Approval application. The issue of on-site incineration of tank vapours will also be discussed. 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 6.30pm.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 3 May, 2000.