COODE ISLAND COMMUNITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE

 

ADOPTED MINUTES

THURSDAY 10 JUNE 2004

 

PRESENT

 

Robin Saunders                                                        Michael Isaachsen

CICCC/Chairperson                                                   Community Rep./Committee

Deborah MacFarlane                                               Ian Thomas

Community Rep./Committee                                        Community Rep./Committee

Faye Simpson                                                                       Quentin Cooke

Community Rep./Committee                                        Env. Protection Authority

Carlo Fasolino                                                          George Horman

State Mgr Kaneb Terminals Pty Ltd/Committee         Gen. Mgr. Kaneb Terminals P/L

Bronwyn Brookman Smith                                     Theo Pykoulas

Major Hazards/Worksafe                                           Manager, Emergency Mgmt, City

Peter LaRose                                                             of Maribyrnong

Operations Manager Kaneb Terminals Pty Ltd         Brad Crofts

Emma Hooper                                                          Dept of Treasury & Finance

Dept of Treasury & Finance                                       Bob Stensholt MP

Chris Watts                                                               Parliamentary Secretary for

Metropolitan Fire Brigade                                          Treasury and Finance

Sue Chatterton

Minute Taker

 

ITEM 1           WELCOME BY THE CHAIR

Robin welcomed everyone. Introduced Bob, Brad and Emma.

 

Before the meeting continued George told the committee of an ABC radio announcement he had heard on his way to the meeting regarding what the ABC thought was an oil leak at Coode Island. Peter LaRose then left the meeting to investigate. (It later transpired that it was there was a small amount of tallow up river from Coode Island to the east of Coode Island. It should be noted that Terminals Pty Ltd does not store tallow.)

 

ITEM 2           APOLOGIES

Apologies were received from Bro, Colleen, Robert.

 

Robin then read a letter he received from Robert Glavich to those present, which signalled an ongoing interest in CICCC, but inability to attend future meetings—effectively a resignation.

 

Robin then suggested the committee look for a replacement community representative

 

ITEM 3           CONFIRMATION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA

The draft agenda was adopted.


ITEM 4           GUEST SPEAKERS

Robin then invited Bob Stensholt to speak on the Maxwell Report. The author of the report is Chris Maxwell QC – Head of Liberty Victoria, who was commissioned by the government to prepare an independent review of the O.H. & S. Act as the Act had not been reviewed for 20 years.

·               Consultation over report (40–50 submissions)

·               Government now responsible to make decisions

·               Revise legislation by end of year – 2nd week December 2004

·               Supports setting up new O.H. & S. Advisory Committee – mix of unions/employers/employees

·               More support – Work Cover guidance, training, review processes internally

·               Stiffer penalties, flexible application of penalties

·               Use of unions – accredited Health & Safety representatives to roam site

 

Bob also mentioned that the Task Force supported the major thrusts of the Maxwell Report, including:

·               Placing a high priority on safety;

·               Having principles up front in the Act;

·               Bringing the Act up-to-date with how the courts handle risk—moving from “practicable” to “reasonably practicable”

·               Introducing an objective test based on gross disproportion: a high cost/low risk matter might be ignored, while a high cost/high risk would be expected to be implemented;

·               Using “carrots” as well as “sticks”;

·               More guidance from WorkSafe Officers, not just an “…its your problem” response;

·               External review will be achieved by a new section in VCAT;

·               Ruled out Industrial Manslaughter (leave it to criminal law), and ruled out Unions making prosecutions;

·               Risk of an incident to be treated as seriously as an actual incident.

 

Deborah said the review was very welcome but tends to place focus on industrial premises instead of wider community, felt he missed the broader interest. Short period for review, process not community friendly. Need for consultation with the community to be mandated in the legislation.

Bob said there was a current provision in the act which widens ambient outside of premises as industries have responsibilities to make premises safe.

Robin said planning applications for industries within the Port are not advertised, so need for open approval process all the more important for WorkCover. No public comment allowed. Formal requests have to be made to view application. Myriad of interlocking acts – what is the mechanism for community consultation – missing in the Maxwell Report.

George questioned the changing of the wording of “employee” to “worker” and what was the point of doing that change. George suggested that the report muddied the water and gave example of a contract electrician performing electrical maintenance on site.

Bronwyn then stated that Terminals (as used in the example) would be treated as a Terminals employee. If on Terminals site then Terminals has a duty of care to that worker.

Ian then stated that the report focussed on safety and not the environment and that at worst they should be treated as equal. The approval stage of a new project was the perfect opportunity for public consultation on safety issues. WorkSafe needs to be made an Authority (Bob said that the Maxwell Report made the same point).

Ian said he had been concerned that for a number of years legislation had been moving from prescription to performance. It was easier for small workplaces to comply with a prescriptive regime. Bob responded that WorkCover should be working on clarifying standards and getting the message through, not just performance. He also noted that the Maxwell Report recommended penalties be set in the Act, rather than in the Regulations as they are at present.

Ian also noted that a number of organisations have students, and the Act should cover these (as well as workers). He drew attention to AS4630 (Risk Management), and a handbook being prepared by Health and Community Services. He stressed the importance of recognising that safety issues also come up in relation to health and community workers providing services in the homes of members of the community—the workplace can be someone’s home.

Robin thanked Bob (and Brad and Emma) for an informative and useful presentation. The Committee resolved to make a formal response to the Maxwell Report.

ACTION         Robin to prepare and send a response to the Maxwell Report from the Committee.

 

Quentin suggested that the Environment Effects Act (presently being reviewed) may also offer opportunities to the community to comment on health and safety issues.

 

ITEM 5           PHENOL INITIATIVE

George then spoke of the collapse of the Phenol initiative. Marstell are to convert another tank to store Phenol. Terminals are involved in discussion with another party for phenol storage.

Ian asked if proposed storage tank was in fact closer to community. George could not confirm but from his observations it was a possibility.

Ian then stated that at the last meeting it was a pleasure to hear a proposal that all were in favour of.

 

ITEM 6           ACTION ITEMS

All matters currently in abeyance, pending any re-opening of the phenol proposal.

 

ITEM 7           QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION

·               Proposal was put to the committee regarding Butadiene storage at Coode Island. George advised that Terminals looked at storing the gas at Coode but abandoned the idea as there was not enough room to store the gas without increasing the risk. Terminals preference would be their storage site at Geelong rather than Coode as a great deal more space is available and there would be no significant impact to on and off site risks at the Geelong facility. .

·               George further advised that Terminals was currently in discussions with DOW with regard to storage of Butadiene at Geelong.

·               George further advised that butadiene storage would not significantly alter risk profiles at the Geelong site, but it probably would at Coode. George said he wasn’t a risk engineer and couldn’t quantify this.

·               Theo distributed Council Media Release where it was stated council was opposed to the storage of Butadiene at Coode.

·               Close proximity to Shell at Geelong was discussed. George stated that both Shell and Terminals shared joint risk contours.

·               Ian then stated after his visit to the Geelong site during the Open Day affirmed considerably more separation of products, scale of plant, well managed, relatively new site. Reiterated George’s comments – Geelong appropriate location for Butadiene.

·               Deborah asked that Robin write to minister to voice concerns regarding storage of Butadiene at Coode. Concern as a resident, and for concerns to be put forward. Inform Whitehall Street Committee know of risk. Include declaration of support from City of Maribyrnong as per their media release.

 

 

ITEM 8           MINUTES OF 6TH MAY 2004

·               Moved Ian, and adopted without change. Robin thanked Jody.

·               Minutes of scheduled meeting, Thursday 1st April, 2004 – Moved – Ian and Faye, and adopted without change. Robin thanked Sue.

 

 

ITEM 9           REPORTS FROM AGENCIES

Carlo report.

 

·               Hired a Project Manager (CMR) to handle remediation of East side of plant.

·               Cease storage of Acrylonitrile – Plant B West side – reduces risk

·               Operations Superintendent resigned and went to Marstell. New Operations Superintendent – Michael Frost.

·               Quentin recommends licence change and fee structure as less hazardous products stored. More risk higher fee.

·               Bronwyn then stated that licence fee for Work Cover not risk based. Product stays on licence so no need to amend. Manifest updated weekly no notification was required to be given to Work Safe.

 

Bronwyn – Work Safe report

 

·               2 visits to Terminals with MFB

·               Demolition – changes to West side

·               Fire Systems – confirm issues

·               MHF licence – timeframes

·               Audit under carcinogenic licence. Annual audit solely on this issue with Peter Cocks from Work Safe and 2 hygienists.

·               Improvement notice – personal monitoring under Benzene licence. More monitoring to be conducted – more info regarding truck loading – no occasion of exceeding levels but levels altered from 3 to 1 ppm and monitoring amounts getting close to levels.

·               Another concern by improvement notice – Noel Arnold (environmental consultants) not aware of change to standards for benzene exposure so report are to be reissued.

 

Chris Watt - Metropolitan Fire Brigade report

 

No significant responses to Coode Island.

 

Quentin Cooke – Environment Protection Authority Report

 

·               One meeting with Terminals

·               East side soil remediation

·               EPA process auditor reports back to EPA to assess whether clean up has been completed

·               Next week EPA board will be visiting, presentation 17 June 2004 to board (George).

·               Robin received invitation to attend meeting.

 

Theo Pykoulas – Manager, Emergency Management, City of Maribyrnong Report

 

·               Further implementation of the telephone messaging system for chemical industries, moving fro a pilot scheme to a City wide ongoing scheme, depends on Government funding. Consultation with the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner is continuing to lobby for such funding. Acknowledged cannot be done by Council alone.

·               Invitation for trial of new telephone messaging technology to broadcast an alert message during a Maribyrnong River flood emergency. Potential very well received and applies to 400 homes.

 

Ian told meeting about Risk 2004 Conference – call for papers extended end June 2004.

 

ITEM 10         NEXT MEETING DATES

15th July, 2004 not necessary, and cancelled.

Next scheduled meeting – Thursday 5th August, 2004; then 14th October 2004       

Tonight’s meeting to be minuted as a General Meeting.

 

MEETING CLOSED            8:40 PM.