Coode Island Committee Update
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Pilot Project on Emergency Communications
At the CICCC meeting on 9 October, Theo Pykoulas, Municipal Emergency Resource Officer, Maribyrnong City Council, provided an update on the Pilot Project being undertaken on the communication to Maribyrnong residents when an emergency happens.
The Pilot Project, undertaken jointly with the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner, has confirmed the key requirements for the system, including the willing involvement of all major hazard facility operators surrounding the municipality, advance communication with residents though brochures and fridge magnets, the use of community radio FM 974, and a new system for contacting many people by phone simultaneously.
Theo demonstrated the telephone system at the meeting, and a number of attendees received a pre-recorded phone message from Theo on their mobile phones, at the same time. The system used (called Voice Reach, a product of Xpedite) is a high tech application somewhat similar to broadcasting a group message on the internet. A pre-recorded message can be sent simultaneously to any number of recipients, providing their phone numbers are in a data base customised for the purpose. The system also allows the sender to monitor whether parties have received the message, or whether it was left on a message bank, or whether the call was not answered.
The CICCC congratulated Theo and the City of Maribyrnong on their impressive progress with the emergency communication project. When the project is completed, pre-recorded phone messages will be sent widely to the surrounding community to alert them to emergency situations as they develop, and to give timely, progressive advice to them about how they should respond.
Improvement Action Report
The Improvement Action Report provides a snapshot of the major environmental and safety improvements required by EPA and WorkSafe under their respective licences. The Committee discussed the preliminary advice from WorkSafe and EPA under the “Regulatory Sign Off” column of the Improvement Action Report. Community members felt that wording along the lines of “completed to the satisfaction of the EPA” was desirable to provide accountability. The Authorities will respond to the Committee’s advice in the coming month.
Revocation of the clean-up notice on Site A
Terminals Pty Ltd advised the Committee that the EPA clean-up notice on Site A has been formally revoked, following a long period of satisfactory ground water monitoring. Site A, the site of the 1991 explosion and fires, is no longer within Terminal’s lease area, having been taken over by P&O Ports for container storage. However Terminals Pty Ltd has had ongoing responsibility for the clean up and groundwater monitoring. Although the clean-up notice is no longer in force, further monitoring at a reduced level will be continued well into the future.
Acrylate tanks commissioned
Terminals Pty Ltd advised that the upgrading of some acrylate tanks has been completed, and those tanks have been successfully commissioned. The tanks are now connected to the combustor system, and are receiving product. The remaining tanks will be completed over the next couple of months.
Combustor commissioning enters last stage
Terminals Pty Ltd advised that the Office of Gas Safety has approved the commissioning of the combustors for dilute waste streams (e.g. from the truck filling stations). These dilute waste streams contain some oxygen, but are kept well under the flammable limit. The dilute wastes constitute the second and last stream of wastes being sent to the combustors. The first stream was from the main storage tanks themselves, and this stream has been commissioned and in operation for some months, as previously reported.
Next meeting of the CICCC
It is likely that the next meeting of the CICCC will be held on Thursday 11 December 2003 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. Final confirmation of whether the November 13 meeting will be held or cancelled will be provided on the CICCC web site on 6 November.
The December meeting will discuss the future focus and arrangements for the CICCC, responding to the budget cuts announced by Terminals Pty Ltd. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting.
Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC,
15 October 2003