A few weeks ago it came to public attention that an application to the State Government had been made to move the family-owned light-industrial facility Nulon Motor Oils to parklands at Leppington.
The Liverpool mayor, Werriwa MP Anne Stanley and some residents opposed it and voiced health and safety fears after finding out it would also store aerosols. It was also discovered there had been a spill at the facility a few years ago.
But at last month’s council meeting, some councillors supported the family business’s plans after touring the current Nulon facility at Moorebank.
Councillor Peter Harle said it had less chemicals than people would assume.
“I went there myself and from what I saw there were less chemicals out in the open than a public pool would have or a Bunnings store,” he said at the council meeting.
“The acid and alkaline they store is less than you’d store at a typical pool-supplies store and is used to blend radiator coolant for motor vehicles, the chemicals are used to neutralise the drinking water as supplied to homes.
“They’re simply mixing oils with other oils. The plant is currently at Moorebank and shares a back fence with residents rather than parkland. If it’s not OK to go to Leppington, is it good enough to be at Moorebank?”
He also said it was a matter for the State Government, not the Federal Government.
“This is really a problem for the Member for Liverpool.”
Cr Karess Rhodes encouraged Nulon and the public to arrange a tour. “Reports that the proposed Nulon development would be a danger to residents without inspecting the current Nulon operation have contributed to unfounded community fear instead of factual evidence,” she said.
“I hope the council’s suggestion to Planning to hold a forum on it will include public tours of the current operation to promote informed decision-making based on facts not fear.
“I saw Nulon has in place safety standards that make it less dangerous than any service station, less noisy than your local printing shop, emits no operational odours or dust that I could smell or see, has less stored dangerous or combustible goods than Bunnings and contains the whole operation so there can be no leakage into the environment.”
Cr Nathan Hagarty disagreed with the two councillors and said there was still the chance of human error.
“The difference between Bunnings and a motor-oil factory is they’re manufacturing and blending these chemicals and at Bunnings they’re being stored – that’s a pretty big difference,” he said.
“I haven’t done a tour but the problem’s not with Nulon. They're a great business providing jobs for Liverpool. It’s a planning and zoning matter.”
Paul Lynch said he spoke about the matter in Parliament more recently on March 8.
“I advise the House of very grave concerns about strong opposition to the Nulon Motor Oils development at Bringelly Rd. This is the wrong facility for this place. I have rarely seen such unanimity of local opposition to a proposal.
“Nulon is hardly without a track record.”