Coode Island commemoration
By Ray Fulcher
MELBOURNE — "Coode Island is an accident waiting to happen" state MP Joan Coxsedge told a vigil on the banks of the Maribyrnong river a year after the infamous toxic blaze at the inner-city chemical storage facility. The August 22 gathering was called by the Hazardous Materials Action Group (HAZMAG).
Other speakers included Paul Adams (HAZMAG), Colleen Hartland (Independent Action candidate for Footscray), Mark Towler of Trades Hall and Shirley Winton of the Coalition Against Refinery Expansion. Speakers were concerned that little has changed since the fire, and chemical companies operating in the state remain very much a law unto themselves.
The government recently announced that the Coode Island facilities are to be moved to Point Wilson, further down the western side of Port Phillip Bay. However, there is widespread concern over environmental problems at the new site.