The Coode Island Disaster: Not forgotten

With Colleen Hartland & Paul Adams

If you lived in the inner west at the time, you will never forget the day in August 1991 when the Coode Island disaster unfolded on our doorstep. The Coode Island storage tank facility exploded, spreading a plume of toxic smoke across Melbourne for two days. It was one of Melbourne’s biggest disasters. About 8.5 million litres of organic compounds burned, creating a toxic cloud over nearby residential suburbs, which was fortunately dispersed by strong winds.

The history of the Coode Island disaster has not been forgotten, not least because there continues to be storage of dangerous goods and chemicals near suburban populations in the west of Melbourne.

The EPA is currently considering a new licence application for the storage of dangerous goods in Coode Island. The proposed facility will store approximately 230 tanks, containing foodstuffs, combustible liquids and dangerous goods. The EPA will be making an assessment of this licence application over the next few months, with a decision expected later this year.

This public meeting will explore the history of the Coode Island disaster and what it has meant for the western suburbs. The conversation will be introduced by Colleen Hartland and Paul Adams.

Colleen Hartland is a long term western suburbs activist and was a founding member of the Hazardous Materials Action Group (HAZMAG). Colleen was the Greens MP for the Western Metropolitan Region from 2006 to 2018.

Paul Adams was co-author of Unlocking the factory door : the community demands the right to know, is industry liaison working? : having the ability to act / report to the Coode Island Review Panel by the Hazardous Materials Action Group (HAZMAG).

Wednesday July 31, 7pm @ Borderlands Footscray

Information contact Jorge Jorquera 0416 200 922 |

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