WorkSafe is leading a taskforce including Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), local councils and government agencies to oversee the removal of waste chemicals at sites in Melbourne's northern and western suburbs.
This includes 13 stockpiles of chemicals uncovered in Epping, Campbellfield and Craigieburn in early 2019, and the site of the 2018 chemical fire in Tottenham, near West Footscray.
This page will be updated with information and advice as clean-up operations progress, and includes links to other relevant information.
WorkSafe also works with local councils and the EPA to provide updates on progress at all sites.
Tottenham fire site
In November WorkSafe exercised powers under the Dangerous Goods Act to directly oversee the removal of waste chemicals from the 2018 fire site at Tottenham.
This followed confirmation that an estimated 7-10 million litres of residual chemicals remained on site following the warehouse fire.
A taskforce including EPA, Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Maribyrnong Council, Victoria Police and Melbourne Water has been formed to oversee the clean-up.
Worker and community safety is the taskforce's priority. The operation will involve the removal of 7,000-15,000 cubic metres of debris and will need to be carefully planned before it can commence.
WorkSafe is currently undertaking a procurement process to appoint a contractor, or contractors, to clean up the fire site.
Since taking control of the site in November, WorkSafe has ensured a number of safety precautions have been put in place including:
- 24-hour security
- Air monitoring for asbestos and any other airborne hazards
- Stormwater containment
- Detailed planning with emergency services, local government and other regulators in case of an emergency.
Stony Creek recovery
Melbourne Water and Maribyrnong City Council continue to lead the recovery of Stony Creek.
Northern suburbs sites
The project to remove chemicals from stockpiles in the northern suburbs is well progressed.
As of January 20, all four sites in Epping, two sites in Campbellfield and two sites in Craigieburn have been completely cleared.
Twenty-four hour security, air monitoring and fire contingency plans remain in place at all sites still containing chemicals.
If you are concerned about the way someone is storing or handling dangerous goods, or have questions about the removal project, contact WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.