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There have been several changes to the membership of the CICCC. The meeting welcomed Theo Pykoulas, Manager of Emergency Management, at the Maribyrnong City Council (who is replacing John Luppino), Chris Watt, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Melbourne Fire Brigade (who is replacing Paul Swain), and Terminals’ Melbourne Operations Manager, Peter LaRose, who is joining the CICCC. Peter is replacing Paul Hayward at Terminals.
Rob Sheers, Director, Hazard Management Division, WorkSafe made a short presentation to the Committee and answered questions. Rob spoke about his responsibility as the delegate who makes the decision to grant or refuse licences to Major Hazard Facilities. In Rob’s two years at WorkSafe, he has refused two licence applications, and put reduced terms and/or conditions on several others.
WorkSafe is accountable to the Work Cover Board, which is structured and operates as a distinct entity. Accountability is taken very seriously in the organisation. In response to a query about “Worlds Best Practice”, Rob stated that it is hard to define and difficult to use if taken seriously. The authority has its regulatory criteria, which required that risks are reduced so far as practicable. WorkSafe’s oversight requires that facilities comply with this criteria.
In response to another query about WorkSafe’s view of the risks of PACIA’s annual open day, Rob stated that each facility was responsible for managing its own risks, and so should identify the additional hazards and implement controls if they choose to participate in the open day.
The CICCC reinforced the importance of Community Right to Know principles in the current climate of security.
In relation to the giant blaze at Port Kembla of a seven million litre ethanol tank that burned for 20 hours on 28th January 2004, Rob agreed to provide a copy of the public incident report, so that any lessons learned from that incident can be understood by both WorkSafe and the community.
EPA has advised that consideration of Terminals’ application for an accredited licence has not yet been finalised. When it is determined, EPA will provide further details of their assessment to the CICCC.
Terminals Plant C West upgrade
EPA advised the Committee that it had determined that the proposed upgrade of Terminals’ Plant C west would not require a Works Approval application, on the basis that the level of omissions from the tanks would be very insignificant.
Terminals advised that the products to be stored at Plant C West would not be flammable. The CICCC asked for further advice from EPA concerning the criteria for requiring a Works Approval, and details of the products Terminals would be authorised to store in Plant C West.
EPA has now received reports of the ethyl acrylate leak at P&O Ports on 22 December 2003. An isotainer containing ethyl acrylate was found with the Vapour Valve in the Full-Open position and the valve cap not in place. Ethyl acrylate has an unpleasant smell in even the most minute quantities. The incident affected a number of P&O Ports operators: 32 were given medical assistance, and 39 continued to feel unwell and were sent home.
EPA advised the CICCC that having received the reports, and as the ethyl acrylate was not discharged beyond the P&O Ports boundary, EPA had decided to take no further action. EPA saw it as an isolated incident, and EPA spends its main efforts in following up incidents from facilities where there are repeated incidents. In this respect it monitors a list of the top ten facilities in the Metropolitan Western District. EPA will provide this top ten list to the CICCC.
The next meeting of the CICCC will be held on Thursday April 1st, 2004 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting. Prior to the meeting, CICCC members will inspect the recent upgrading of facilities at the Terminals Coode Island site.
Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 23 February 2004 CICCC web site: www.ciccc.org