COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE
Draft Minutes of Meeting
Thursday 2I October 1999
Wayne Jarman – Terminals Pty Ltd
Jarrod Edwards – WorkCover
Dr. Peter Brotherton
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
The chairperson welcomed the committee and others present at the meeting.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Martin Brennan, Frank Fichera, Cathy Akyypis, Sarah Coward, and Robert Glavich.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF AGENDA
The draft agenda for the 21 October 1999 meeting was accepted by the CICCC. It was agreed that the ‘Monthly Report on Operations at Coode Island’ would be moved forward on the agenda.
ITEM 4. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING, ACTION ITEMS.
4.1 Amendements to Previous Minutes
Typos pp1 Robert Glavich
pp 3 manager
_35,000 Deadweight Tonnes
pp 4 again
pp4 if this is a matter
pp 9 Kensington Association is holding its community
pp10 vapour recover system
pp 12 Maps of Risk Contour Maps
4.2 Action Items
4.2.1 Website – Robin
See Attachment 1
Robin said there is a temporary web address as can be seen at the bottom of pp1 of the Attachment 1. There are many links that enable one to ‘GO’ to additional information which has not been loaded yet.
ACTION. CICCC input into the development of the page. Please contact Robin directly with your ideas. Sub-Committee chairs, in particular, are requested to think about appropriate headings.
Marg said that she recently attended an international computer users conference. She said that a New Zealand group at the conference are going to send her environmental site information that the CICCC may want to link to.
Robin asked if the CICCC wanted the minutes of the meetings and the monthly press releases, included on the page? He said he thought it should include a history of events to date, and the formation, process and objectives of CICCC. The designers for the page are currently looking at12 July Newsletter, which has a good overview that could be used.
Marg said it was important to label material as ‘fact’ or ‘opinion’.
Ian T asked that there be a button that allowed for further information on the 1991 fire at Coode.
ACTION. Robin will bring a web page format to the next meeting so that this activity may be signed off as a CICCCC achievement.
4.2.3 Residential Development within the 1 in 10 million risk contour – Ian Gibson.
See Attachment 2
This scheme has been in operation since 1996 and precedes the Terminals site proposed relocation plans. The revised planning scheme is very like the scheme before it, with some minor tidying up. There were no buffer zones in the 1996 plan. There is an
- Industrial Zone – Whitehall Street area. This area predates Coode Island and was not designed with the Coode Island Buffer Zone in mind.
- Light Industry Zone – Hyde Street area. This area is dotted with residential developments. The council is attempting to create the beginnings of a Buffer Zone in the area but it is difficult, as residential development precedes the relocation of Terminals at Coode Island.
The council have recently rejected a planned residential development in the CI Buffer Zone area. This checking will continue so that any newly proposed residential developments do not proceed.
The new state government may want to amend the present planning scheme that exists. It is presently reviewing the plan. If this is to occur it will probably be 6 – 12 months before it occurs.
ACTION. At the next meeting Ian G will provide CICCC with a comprehensive list and plan of residential and office developments, which exists within the EPA’s buffer zone.
4.2.4 Coode Island review panel recommendation concerning the community’s health concerns – Peter Brotherton.
ACTION. Deferred to next meeting.
4.2.5 Correspondence to WorkCover – Robin.
See Attachment 3
WorkCover have agreed to the CICCC request to attend and present a paper as requested. They will explain the general procedures they require of companies, (and P&O Ports in particular) to meet the Dangerous Goods Act and to notify WorkCover of incidents that have occurred at their sites.
ITEM 5. REPORT ON HAZARDOUS INCIDENTS AT THE P&O PORTS SITE
Trevor reported that the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board records showed reports of only 4 false alarms at the P&O site. He searched the data base for
There is limited information available regarding all the chemicals that may be involved.
- Post Code area
The present database is evolving. It is not necessary for industry to report an incident unless more than 200 litres of material is involved in a spill or accident. He thinks that the details of information recorded should be improved.
Many of the incidents they have on record are petrol spills from car accidents with the incidents of other types of chemical spills being very low.
Jim said that there were 60 incidents in Australia (representing 80% of the industry) and that the figure was declining each year.
Ted said he was concerned about incidents associated with shipping. He said chemicals were stored in vessels and could potentially cause problems. He said some years ago a ship had blown up at Victoria Dock due to chemical spills causing an explosion. He would like to know how the containers at the P&O site are stored, especially which containers containing what chemicals, and what is sitting next to each other on the dock and in the ships that use our waters. Melbourne Port Corporation record incidents that occur in the port. He would also like to know more about the how the 50-year flood level might impinge on the storage of chemicals in the docks area.
ACTION. Robin to write to Kevin Shay, chair of the Coode Island Users Group and invite him to the next meeting.
ITEM 6. THE LONG TERM COGNITIVE EFFECTS OF CHEMICALS – FAYE SIMPSON.
See Attachment 11 in the minutes of the previous meeting.
Faye used data obtained when working in a clinic that saw patients who were unwell but could not be diagnosed with a particular illness. While some patients attending this clinic were diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, they were not included in the 405 that made up this study.
The data is from 405 cases seen in the period of 1991 – 1996.
- Exposure rates to chemicals
The clinic was seeing patients 10-15 years after exposure to chemicals and in some incidents, 30 years after exposure.
- Did sensitivity increase with exposure?
Exposure to chemicals was associated with a decline in every patient’s cognitive behaviour.
The symptoms that they presented were termed ‘low grade’. Psychological testing indicated that that patient’s behaviours were below ‘normal’ levels. The effects were similar to those that may be found in alcoholics where the chemical alcohol is responsible for the impaired behaviours.
The cognitive impairment occurs before any illness becomes obvious.
- Reduced memory
- Reduced verbal learning
- Visual learning more reduced than verbal learning
Jim said that previous research in this field indicted that the greater the exposure to chemicals, the greater the resulting cognitive damage. For example this had been well documented in the incidents of lead poisoning in children. It depended on 2 factors
- Length of duration of exposure
- Type of chemicals
- How reliable are the figures?
It was impossible to get accurate data because the incidents had often occurred many years ago, up to 30 years ago in some incidents. However these results indicated that their daily behaviours were affected to a concerning degree. The results in their behaviours were similar to someone who was intoxicated with alcohol.
The CICCC discussed the matter and the following points were made
- The community were concerned about this matter so the CICCC should further consider it on their behalf
- How high is high exposure?
- Low-grade chronic exposure is very common in industry
- What other literature and research is available regarding this matter?
- Many years ago, Ted saw a friend die as a result of chemical exposure. He kept his chemical soaked boots under the seat of his car and when he had the car heater operating the chemicals filled the car. His behaviour changed drastically before his death.
- The Work Safe Banner is not taken up enthusiastically enough by industry
- Records are kept hidden by the authorities and industry
- We are 20-30 years behind countries like Sweden in the management of such issues
- The power of the statistics is very clear
- On the CICCC Web Page we should be asking others to link us to all other available data on this matter
- Cognitive impairment of workers in industry must influence behaviours to the extent that safety on the site must be impaired on occasions
- We have legislated in our communities to prohibit those affected by alcohol from driving on our road because of the safety implications
ITEM 7. OBJECTIVES FOR MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE CICCC – MARTIN BRENNAN.
ACTION. Defer to the next meeting.
ITEM 9. HSE ACHIEVEMENTS FOR SIGN-OFF.
See Attachments 8 & 9 &10
Ian T reported on behalf of the sub committee, that Terminals have completed all matters requested of it in the recent WorkCover audit.
He said a Terminals employee always accompanied truck drivers on the Terminals site. The TM Service Report needs further clarifying as it makes some findings that don’t seem to accord with the present state of the facility.
The sub committee and Terminals are having further discussions about lightning, and earthquake standards and some other matters.
The CICCC discussed the issue of the CICCC endorsing proposals recommended by the sub-committee. The following comments were made
- It is difficult for those not a member of the sub committee to quickly come to grips with the detail of the sub committee’s work and so it is difficult to confidentially endorse it
- I suggest we put them as motions along these lines ‘the CICCC is satisfied the Terminals has taken all measures to satisfy….Points 1 to 5. ’ Or ‘these are our achievements…’ Or ‘ I’m satisfied the work is complete…’ Or ‘ I’m left with doubts and more needs to be done’
- We may decide some things have been achieved but that more work is required in others
- Lets word things as ’outcomes’ rather than ‘activities’
- ‘Approving’ what has been done is different to ‘commending’ what has been done
- The sub committee has been entitled to complete visibility by Terminals and all matters have been dealt with thoroughly by the sub-committee. I do not think it evident that there is any thing sinister happening. The subcommittee have put Terminals under the microscope on many things
- In some cases the CICCC may need the sub committee to fully explain the detail of the investigations they have made
- Some things that the CICCC is being asked to agree with are too sweeping. Can we endorse things at different levels and then put them out for public comment?
- It is essential that we go through the signing off process so that the community and we see we are meeting our Aims and Objectives
ACTION. All CICCC to read Attachment 10. The sub committee will refine Attachment 10 so that it better formulates activities that have been achieved to date. CICCC will give thought to appropriate processes for signing off, and discuss this matter at the next meeting.
Thanks go to Andrew and Ian T for their work on all this.
ITEM 10. REPORT OF THE EMERGENY MANAGEMENT SUB COMMITTEE (MARG) AND COMMUNITY FORUM (ROBERT, FAYE AND IAN THOMAS).
See Attachment 12
Despite the fact that a significant portion of the12, 000 leaflets for the forum were not distributed, 22 people attended the Forum organised by the Kensington Association
ITEM 11. MONTHLY REPORT ON OPERATIONS AT COODE ISLAND –TERMINALS.
See Attachment 7
Terminals have been conducting internal eye protection training.
They have been having joint meetings of staff and management to discuss ways that their operations and processes can continue to be improved.
In a few instances the stack testing for Benzine was still over the limit but there was an improvement on last months measures.
The Melbourne Port will close down over New Years Eve and restart operations in the morning.
DNV Technica have been contacted to assist with Terminals plans for it’s Safety Case Report as required under the new legislation.
ACTION. Carlo to include further details in the monthly report as discussed at the last meeting.
Peter Reddie said that the new ‘state of the art’ tank at the Geelong site is almost completed. It will become operational in December. It stores a potentially dangerous chemical Monoisopropylamine that is used in the manufacturing of the weedicide known as Roundup.
The site is the previously contaminated site of the Geelong tip. Terminals are expanding their Geelong site. They are using the best available technology in their expansion activities. The planning approval process through WorkCover and the Geelong council have been followed. It was not necessary to get EPA approval because there are no emissions from the site.
George said extra precautions had been taken in the design of the tank. It had piles and concrete as a foundation. Nothing can get into the ground water. Everything is sealed. It is the best one can design and build.
The CICCC may visit the site next year for an inspection, which may be combined with one of our Committee meetings.
ITEM 12. AGENDA FOR THE NEXT MEETING
It will take time for the new government to settle down and there probably wont be much happening until March 2000.
ACTION. The main purpose of the next meeting will be to sign-off on HSE activities to date. Ian Thomas will further refine the recommendations with the HSE Sub-Committee for presentation to the next meeting.
ITEM 13. OTHER BUSINESS
- Ian Thomas
Ian T tabled the following;
- Flier advertising ‘The Cause of the Coode Island Fires’ to be held on 28 October 1999. See Attachment 4
- EPA Bulletin containing article ‘Recommended Buffer Distances for Industrial Residual Air Emissions’. Available at epa.vic.gov.au or the EPA office.
See Attachment 5.
He said that he had concerns about Robin’s reporting in the 6 October 1999 monthly newspaper article from the CICCC. He said that the Kensington Association had been the prime mover for the 2nd Forum, and not the CICCC as could be inferred in the newspaper article.
ACTION. Robin agreed that the first paragraph needed clarifying. He said he would redress this in the next paper update from CICCC.
Ian T went on to state his concern regarding the movement of the Terminals site both West and North an he said he felt that the risk for residents would increase with such a move and that more detail should have been included in Robin’s reporting of the matter in the newspaper.
Robin said it was difficult to include a lot of technical detail in a small newspaper article. He said that he feels paragraphs 2 and 3 are an accurate report of what was said at the meeting.
Ian T said that there was more consideration being given to P&O Ports by providing them with more space for their containers, than that being given to the safety of residents.
He said that the propylene oxide tanks were fairly new and that maybe it was worth considering to move some of the older facilities and relocating them and upgrading them.
Jim said that Risk Contours could move without having to move tanks, as there are many factors involved in determining a risk. For example they can be technical, environmental or physical factors. He said that to compare future and past location and their locations alone does not necessarily represent the variation of the risk exactly.
Peter Reddie suggested the CICCC ask WorkCover for an explanation re wether or not moving the tanks will increase or decrease risk. Peter said that he had not seen a copy of WorkCover’s brief to for the QRA they commissioned.
ACTION. Robin to write a letter to WorkCover regarding the above request and to also ask for a copy of the brief to the consulting company. A consensus was reached regarding this. The Coode Island Update would reflect the Committee’s concern on this issue.
Faye asked if consideration had been given to changing the contents of the tanks to a material that was less risky?
Peter Reddie said that the BP site was the only other site available for the propylene oxide.
Ian T said the CICCC should ask the new Government to leave the propylene oxide tanks where they are presently.
Peter B said that now there is a new Government, the issues should be further explored.
Matthew said that the criteria used by WorkCover in the brief for the QRA gave criteria which meets 10-7 criteria, which is lower than anywhere else in the world. It is based on a measure of the lowest practicable safety if it moves.
Ian T said he had discussed the cause of the Coode Fires with Peter Reddie and George Horman. He said Peter was not an employee of Terminals at the time of the fires, but that he had assisted in the investigation to determine the cause of the fire, and a great deal of work had taken place to come to some conclusions which will be discussed at the meeting. See Attachment 4.
- ACI Agreement
See Attachment 6
Robin circulated a paper provided by Ian Thomas, which detailed the work done in England following a proposition to build a pipeline across a sensitive area of the Yorkshire Moors. From this the Manchester Agreement had been drawn up where the company responsible for the pipeline and the community had worked together and reached an agreement.
Ian T suggested that the same type of agreement should be considered regarding the community and Terminals. The HSE Sub committee will look further into this in relation to Coode.
Jim said that the Manchester Agreement had included issues that could be covered by:
- A safety case under new regulations
- Health safety and environmental improvement plan
- Works approval process for public comment.
He said we might have some of these already included in the new legislation that will govern any work at Coode Island.
Peter B said that the public often don’t trust regulatory bodies and that the Manchester Agreement had been an agreement primarily between the company and the community.
Peter R said the new regulations rightly involved opportunities for public consultation, which would then be formalised as an agreement – a tri-partite agreement.
Robin wondered if there might be opportunities to have greater community involvement than that presently on offer through the Works Approval, for instance through an Environmental Improvement plan. Greg Twitt confirmed that the EIP provided additional opportunities for community involvement. The CICCC may need to consider this further.
ACTION. The above matter will be further considered in March or later next year.
- Jim Smith -PACIA
Jim is resigning from the CICCC as he is making changes to his employment arrangements. Ian Swann from PACIA will replace him.
Robin on behalf of the CICCC thanked him for his valued contributions to the CICCC during the past 18 months, and wished him every success in the future. Robin said he would be greatly missed.
- Deborah Macfarlane
Robin introduced Deborah who wishes to become a Community Representative on the CICCC. Her background includes
- Involvement in the Lynches Bridge Committee
- Law Degree
- Previous member of the Kensington Association
- Very interested in activities in this area
The CICCC thanked her for her interest and welcomed her as a new Community Representative Committee member to replace John Marlow.
Next meeting 2 November. 6.30 p.m.
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO MINUTES OCTOBER 1999
Attachment 1 Draft Web Home Page for the CICCC .
Attachment 2 Planning Controls relating to Coode Island, Maribyrnong City Council.
Attachment 3 Correspondence – In and Out to WorkCover.
Attachment 4 Flier for ‘The Cause of the Coode Island Fire’ meeting.
Attachment 5 CICCC report for newspaper article.
Attachment 6 The Manchester Agreement.
Attachment 7 Terminals Monthly Operations & Occurrence Report.
Attachment 8 HS&E sub committee, meeting minutes 13 October 1999.
Attachment 9 Progress and Achievements of the HS&E Sub Committee.
Attachment 10 Motions for Consideration of the CICCC.
Attachment 11 CICCC Emergency Response Sub Committee, minutes of meeting 6 September 1999
Attachment 12 Overview of the Kensington Association Emergency Management Meeting. 6 Oct.
** These attachments will be sent by post to those who have received e-mailed minutes.