Rhonda Hughes from the Eudlo News and General Store.
Rhonda Hughes from the Eudlo News and General Store.

Bowser bans based on a myth

RURAL fuel bowsers had to be shut down or communities risked a catastrophic explosion.

A senior council officer has explained the closure of some pumps in the hinterland, warning the risks were too great.

Community Services executive director Coralie Nichols said the community was putting itself at risk by using some of these stations.

She said an accident at one of these pumps could have killed or hurt people.

On top of the possible injury or death, the council could be charged up to $3 million for not acting on safety problems of this magnitude.

Ms Nichols personally could face a $600,000 fine or three years in prison if someone was killed due to council inaction.

Council has had to act after changes to the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act.

A report into stations found five were particularly precarious and needed to be closed.

These were in Peachester, Eudlo, Eumundi, Conondale and Cooroy.

Ms Nichols said a lightning strike - like the one that hit a refuelling tanker in Melbourne recently - could devastate a township.

Ms Nichols said Eumundi should be relieved the same thing did not happen there.

"If that refuelling exercise in Eumundi was hit by lightning, it would be catastrophic," Ms Nichols said.

"There was no emergency shutoff, and the hoses were not in good condition."

She said the council had to abide by the new law.

"The ramifications of not observing it are far too great for the council and quite frankly the risk to the community if a catastrophic event was to occur would be unacceptable," she said.

"We are not saying we do not want a fuel source in Eumundi.

"If a business or group of individuals have a proposal to dispense fuel in the township, we would be more than happy to sit down and talk to the group."

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

A report to council found five rural petrol stations must close due to safety risks.

It follows changes to state legislation.

If left open, the five stations could risk ignition and explosion.

Ignoring recommendations in the report could earn the council a $3 million fine with an executive risking a $600,000 fine or three years in prison.

The council's staff are now working with station owners on possible solutions.



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