on air now

Warnings Newcastle stockpile of explosive chemicals could cause Beirut-style blast

There are grave concerns over an ammonium nitrate stockpile in Newcastle after the chemicals caused a deadly blast in Lebanon.

Lebanese authorities have said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was responsible for the Beirut blast.

Newcastle’s stockpile of between 6,000 to 12,000 tonnes is stored at Orica’s Kooragang Island plant in the Port of Newcastle.

Orica assures stringent practices are in place to ensure its safe storage and handling.

Correct Planning & Consultation for Mayfield John Hayes told Ben Fordham the community have been suggesting for years the stockpile be moved away from residents.

“If it does continue to stay in Newcastle … is there any need to store it in such large numbers on that site?

“If there is an accident … it would affect a very large area of the CBD, the residential population at Stockton and in greater Newcastle.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Ammonium nitrate expert Tony Richards told Ben more than 40,000 people live within the blast zone if an explosion was to occur.

“Newcastle just wouldn’t exist.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview


Image: Getty/Anadolu Agency