Melbourne chemical stockpiles under guard


Bureau Report
MELBOURNE: Giant containers of dangerous toxic waste stacked to the ceilings of four Melbourne warehouses are being guarded around the clock.
The liquid chemicals were uncovered on December 28 in warehouses in Epping and Campbellfield following multi-agency investigations into the toxic West Footscray factory fire.
“This is a huge concern as we saw from the west Footscray fire these sites put the community and the environment under huge risk,” WorkSafe’s Hazardous Industries head Michael Coffey told media on Wednesday.
“At the moment, we’re not sure exactly what’s in there because basically, it’s too unsafe for us to enter.”
Coffey said since investigations into sites after the August fire started, 103 worksites had been inspected and 157 compliance notices issued, but “we haven’t found anything as material as what we’ve found in Epping and Campbellfield”.
The waste is being stored in 1000-liter plastic containers, stacked to the roof and walls of the facilities, “we’ll be conducting further investigations today to identify what the chemicals are and our priority is to safely remove and safely dispose of these chemicals.” Coffey said.
The worst-case scenario would be a fire like that at West Footscray, Coffey said, which is why the sites are being guarded.


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