Toxic chemicals to be removed from Brooklyn site

Brooklyn Residents Action Group's Laurie Bell and Bert Boere rally with concerned community members. (Joe Mastroianni) This photo was taken before the coronavirus lockdown. 210265_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Toxic chemicals stored just 420 metres from Brooklyn homes will be removed after Brimbank council refused to grant a private company a retrospective permit for storage of dangerous goods.

FBT Transwest, which specialises in bulk storage of liquids and tank containers, had lodged a retrospective planning permit application with the council for chemical storage at 6/600 Geelong Road, Brooklyn.

Brooklyn and surrounding residents, along with Hobsons Bay council, had opposed the permit and said the operation should be immediately shut down as it placed people “at great risk“.

Brimbank city development director Kelvin Walsh said 180 objections had been received.

“Brimbank undertook a detailed assessment of the application against the requirements of the local planning scheme, which concluded that the application should be refused,” he said.

“The site was already being used for the storage of some chemicals and the application sought to formalise this use.

“Given the application was refused, we are now working with the site occupant to ensure that the chemicals are removed from the site and it is brought into compliance with the Brimbank planning scheme.”

Brooklyn Residents Action Group president Bert Boere said those living nearby were glad the required safety clearance distances for hazardous chemical storage had been enforced by not granting the permit.

“In the light of the recent fires in other like facilities, storages and resources recovery centres, the safety clearance distances to any residential areas and other sensitive commercial undertakings needs to be maintained and enforced,” he said.

“Well done to everyone who either objected to the application or rallied against it.”

Hobsons Bay deputy mayor Sandra Wilson said although the site was in Brimbank, it had impacted Hobsons Bay residents.

“Though it is beyond the boundaries of Hobsons Bay, the council exercised its right to object to the planning application and put its weight behind the wishes of our community,” she said.

“We don’t need further negative industrial impacts affecting the residents of Brooklyn and I am relieved at the outcome.

“I commend all the community members who put in objections and showed how much they care about making Brooklyn clean and safe.”

Goya Dmytryshchak