Thursday 9 October 2003
CICCC / Chairperson
Manager Reg. Aff. PACIA / committee
Dr Peter Brotherton
Combined Enviro. Groups / committee
community rep./ committee
City of Marib./GM City Dev / committee
State Man. Terminals P/L / committee
community rep./ committee
community rep./ committee
community rep./ committee
Bronwyn Brookman Smith
MH Div / WorkSafe/ex off comm
Env. Protection Authority / ex off comm
MFESB / ex off comm
General Man./Terminals P/L
City of Maribyrnong
ITEM 1. WELCOME BY THE CHAIR
* Robin welcomed everyone.
ITEM 2. APOLOGIES
* Apologies were received from Colleen Hartland.
ITEM 3. CONFIRMATION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA
* The draft agenda was adopted.
ITEM 4. BRIEF REPORT FROM AGENCIES AND TERMINALS ON KEY ISSUES
4.1 City of Maribyrnong
* John Luppino said an Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) has prepared and submitted a report to Government regarding the review of council boundaries. Council has sought advice from Government on the progress of the report.
* Nothing has been heard from PoMC regarding the buffer zones study.
ACTION. John will get an update from Nick Easy and remind him that the CICCC want to be more involved in the study.
* Ian said he thinks Councillor Horrocks should be congratulated for recently
acknowledging publicly that local residents had suffered as a result of the Coode Island fire and that the ongoing impact of Coode Island activities cannot be denied.
George said it is the City of Maribyrnong, that takes the brunt of responsibility for monitoring and administering many of the activities associated with Coode Island.
ACTION. Robin will send a letter to Government stating their support for the City of Maribyrnong to be recognised officially as the local government who has historically taken responsibility for Coode Island.
4.2 Terminals P/L Report
See Attachment 2
* George said the Plant A cleanup notice has been lifted.
* The Plant A site has already been passed over for P&O’s usage a number of years ago. As stated in the EIP, Terminals will continue to monitor the wells in the in Plant A every 12 months. The contamination in the wells has decreased over time.
* The upgrading of some of the acrylate tanks has been completed. Those tanks have been connected to the combustors and are receiving product. The upgrade for the remaining tanks will be completed over the next couple of months.
* Staffing numbers at Terminals will change in the near future as operations decrease on the upgraded site.
* George met with the CIUG to discuss their future goals and structures. Nick Easy said PoMC want to continue consulting with the CI users as part of their community consultation program. Not all of the CI users want to set up their own individual community consultation committees like the CICCC. Those who attended the meeting from the Port of Melbourne Corporation included Darren Searle, Rob Craig, Neil Edwards, Nick Easy, Ian Shafter and John Leahy.
* CIUG has completed the items in the TM Services Report, and is presently documenting them
* WorkSafe talked about post licensing oversight program and will report on this at the next CIUG meeting.
* Carlo said Terminals Pty Ltd had been advised by the Office of Gas Safety has approved the commissioning of the combustors for dilute waste streams (eg from the
* Carlo said Terminals Pty Ltd advised that the Office of Gas Safety has approved the commissioning of the combustors for dilute waste streams (eg from the truck filling stations). These dilute waste streams contain some oxygen, but are kept well under the flammable limit, at 25% or less. 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. All flammable lines to the combustor are fitted with flame arrester systems.
4.3 EPA Report
* Quentin said the clean up notice on the Plant A site has been revoked as the required remedial work has been completed. The measured limits are below the ANZAS requirements, however the EPA will continue to require monitoring at the site for a few more years.
In answer to Andrew’s question Carlo said P&O remove their containers when site monitoring is required. The monitoring is actioned on a Sunday and takes a day to complete. There are 3 wells on the riverbank and 2 inside the site that have to be checked.
The clean up was achieved with a biological action system in operation since the 1990’s when the EPA first imposed the clean up notice.
* There will be a meeting tomorrow to advance EPA’s assessment of Terminals Pty Ltd application for an accredited licence.
* There is a meeting scheduled this week with government bodies to discuss the CI sewer. The preliminary design work has been prepared. The tender documents and contracts will be released over the next few months.
4.4 WorkSafe Report
See Attachment 1
* The Office of Gas Safety is having discussions with Terminals about their operations, and the commissioning of the combustors to receive the dilute waste stream.
* WorkSafe Week starts in the last week of October. There will be activities in all regions. ‘Attachment 1’ outlines the activities to be held at the major hazard sites at Darebin. Some are free of charge.
* Robin met with Rob Shears during the month (See agended Item 7).
* Paul said the construction on the Marstel site is progressing rapidly. The MFESB staff had a look at the site recently and Paul suggested the CICCC should have a look soon.
* Paul thanked Bronwyn for her assistance with the recent MOU
* In answer to Ian’s question about why he was not permitted to go on the Marstel site to look at the new commented that the visit was organised with Leightons to allow members of the Marstel Community Group to observe the bund liner before completion of the construction activities. The group was on site during the employees break, that is for 10 minutes.
ITEM 5. PRESENTATION BY THEO PYKOULAS ON THE EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PILOT PROJECT
See Attachment 3
* Theo demonstrated the workings of the telephone emergency alerting system by sending a trial message to the CICCC members on the emergency messaging database. If they did not answer the phone and take the message, it was then stored in their message banks. All the information about how and when the information is received by each recipient on the list is accessible immediately by Theo via the readout on the computer. This enables him (as the emergency manager) to check that people have actually received a message from him. It also shows details like the listed names and their relative postcode numbers and there are lists of streets showing all the residents phone numbers. In answer to Robin’s question Theo said that in an emergency, legislated privacy requirements can be over ridden.
The current costs to the system is 80 cents to notify a mobile phone and 55 cents for a land line connection.
The system is called Xpedite and it relies on the existing infrastructure to reach individuals. It can potentially reach many individuals. It is similar to systems used by the share market to update people regularly with information. Theoretically any number of people could be listed.
The next step is to send a letter (as tabled) explaining to those on the trial database (300 in total) that they can get updates about the emergency from their local FM radio station (Stereo 974), or by phoning the council. An information brochure about the service is also being developed for release to the community.
Some people like those with hearing impairment, will not be readily contactable. John said these sorts of problems are yet to be fully identified and /or planned for.
Most of the Major Hazard sites are outside the boundaries of the City of Maribyrnong.
Telstra can pick up the silent numbers for an emergency situation.
In answer to Ian’s question about how much information about location of incident and type of incident will be given in the message, Theo said the message will be short and sharp and ask people to tune to the radio 974 for details.
During the trial period 2 messages a month will be sent to the 300 people on the trial data list. They will be asked to provide feedback about the system operations.
20,000 fridge magnets will be distributed soon to residents who live within 2 kms of major hazard sites.
Peter congratulated the council and said it was the most exciting project to have been implemented since he has been a member of the CICCC.
Robin supported Peter’s comments on the work to date and said the CICCC will look forward to further reports on progress in the coming months.
ITEM 6. CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
11 September 2003.
* The minutes were adopted with the addition of Faye Simpson to the list of apologies.
ITEM 7. IMPROVEMENT ACTION REPORT (IAR)
* Robin said it was an important issue for this committee that the signing off in this report, be in a form that allowed for accountability to the community. At the meeting with Rob Sheers, Robin reminded him of the undertaking John Brumby had given the community when he said “We now want to ensure the highest possible standard of safety and environmental responsibility with a facility which meets or exceeds all the requirements of the Victorian Workcover Authority, the Environment Protection Authority and the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board.”
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.
WorkSafe have only acknowledged in the report that they have ‘sighted’ an improvement without saying anything about whether the improvement ‘meets or exceeds regulatory requirements’ as the minister told the community would be achieved.
Rob Sheers is looking closely at this reporting matter and may take legal advice about it. Robin said he suggested to Rob that if some reassurance cannot be provided to the community under the existing legislation, changes to the Act may be necessary to ensure accountability to the community.
The next meeting with Rob Shears is likely in early November and a further report on the matter is anticipated before mid November.
Robin said he also has concerns that the EPA sign off in the report does not give the guarantees stated previously by the Minister.
Deborah said that to state something is ‘confirmed’ may not express adequately that the regulations have been met.
George said if it is stated in the report that something is ‘sighted’ then it means it has met what was previously defined. What else can be said/done when something has been through the following checking processes
2) Licence under Major Hazard Facility Regulations
3) Design reviews
Peter suggested the wording ‘sighted and satisfied’ would be better. Giving the company a licence to operate indicates the authority sees the company as a safe operation so
1) The EPA could state ‘in accordance with ????environmentally’, and
2) WorkSafe could state ”in accordance with Safety Case.’
Then the community are reassured the operation of the site is in accord with the licence to operate requirements.
Bronwyn said the companies demonstrate they have done what they said they would do and then all WorkSafe can do, is to say the company has done as required in the Safety Case. The Safety Case is not a static document.
Paul said a concrete guarantee on everything cannot be given. If something is ‘sighted’ by the authority it means it has been installed but it not known if it is working safely as expected.
George agreed that stating in the report that something is in accord with the licence requirements would be a good addition. They were required to go through a very rigorous process to get the licence in the first place. The prescribed codes in the licence are very prescriptive.
Michael suggested more detail other than ‘sited’ be included. He suggests things like the ‘quality’ of the items should be commented on.
Bronwyn said there is not much room to include detail in one column. She suggested the word ‘confirmed’ might be appropriate.
Peter agreed that words like ‘confirmed’ and ‘accepted’ have a more positive tone for the community. He said he is pleased to see WorkSafe are addressing this issue because the Major Hazard Regulations are not written to sufficiently include accountability. The community want the government to be accountable for the safety of these sites and not leave accountability with the operators.
In answer to Deborah’s question about whether or not ‘sighted’ means no accountability for government, Bronwyn said that WorkSafe could have used the word ‘confirmed’. She said the Major Hazard facility sites and operations differ, and the legislation is written to incorporate the broad range of MH operations. The onus is on the operator to identify what’s needed and operate the site safely. WorkSafe checks at different stages to make sure the company is doing what they said they needed to do and they regularly check the operations during the licence period. She said there is a difference between accountability and responsibility’.
Margaret said when it comes to how the regulatory bodies are to be involved, the words in the regulations are
Can you quote these please Margaret?
Deborah suggested the government could be liable if they took the responsibility away from the company.
Peter reminded the CICCC of the comments in the Final Report of the CI review when it refers to the ‘lamentable performance of operators’ and noted with surprise, the lack of government agency accountability. It noted that its citizens expect government authorities will be more accountable than private enterprise might be. He said some of the issues of concern evident 10 years ago are still evident today.
Robin said Terminals have significantly upgraded their site and the way this has been achieved needs to be more explicitly noted by the authorities publicly in this report.
In answer to Paul’s comments Robin said the community want ‘more of an elephant stamp’ about the operations on a site from the government authorities. These authorities are using the public purse and so they should be accountable and report in a way that the public understands and values as useful.
Ian said that historically government has changed the way in which it regulates Major Hazard sites. He suggests the inclusion of a signature in the column could assist.
Robin acknowledged that he had not yet talked to the EPA about the issue. He asked Quentin to facilitate a meeting with Mick Bourke for such a discussion.
Quentin said the EPA sign off to give the CICCC confidence that the work is completed to a satisfactory level. He suggests the committee have the discussion first with him. He suggests the format might need to be changed to include more detailed signing off notes. Quentin suggested that the CICCC might also have a column where it too signs off that it is happy with the operations. He said the IAR is a document which relates to 20 pages of detail in the EIP.
Deborah suggested ‘completed to EPA satisfaction’ would be better.
Michael said he would sign off in a CICCC column if the regulatory bodies have signed off that everything has been done to ‘the highest possible standard’. He said he would not be prepared to sign of just to say something has ‘been completed’.
George said you can only state that something performs as you said it would and that the report indicates that on inspection and as a result of monitoring activities, all is occurring in an ongoing way as it was stated it would be. It’s not possible to give a guarantee.
Faye suggested that companies need some incentive to keep their licence. She asked if licences can be easily lost and how many violations constitute cancellation of a licence?
Bronwyn said that a licence can be revoked if false information is submitted to WorkSafe or if the company has been prosecuted three times by WorkSafe.
Paul said that the MFESB is not a regulator. They rely on the consultants and those responsible in the specific industries to give them the necessary information. Then the MFESB will offer advice and say they have sighted aspects of a facility and, say they are satisfied with what they have seen and discussed with the relevant responsible parties. The living documents used by the regulators change over time, so everything is always changing.
ACTION. Quentin will amend the document tomorrow to read as ‘completed to EPA’s satisfaction’.
ITEM 9. ACTION ITEMS FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING
Colleen will follow up on the working group to review the future arrangements for the CICCC when she returns in mid November.
ACTION. John will remind Colleen to go ahead and convene the working group as discussed previously and propose ways in which to take their work forward.
ACTION . The above matter will be agended for the December 2003 meeting.
ITEM 10. OTHER BUSINESS
Ian said he visited the schedule 4 premises at Kilsyth today. It has just ceased operations.
ITEM 11. AGENDA FOR THE NEXT MEETING 13 November 2003
* See the ACTION ITEMS above.
The committee discussed the need or not, for a meeting in December.
ACTION. Robin will notify the CICCC 7 days before the scheduled November meeting and confirm it will go ahead or otherwise.
Thursday 13 November (to be confirmed) and 11 December 2003
Thursday 12 February, 11 March, 1 April, 13 May and 10 June 2004
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES 9 October 2003
ATTACHMENT 1 WorkSafe Week – Major Hazard Program
ATTACHMENT 2 Terminals Monthly Operations Report. September 2003.
ATTACHMENT 3 Emergency Management Map – City of Maribyrnong