Demolition day named for Port Kembla stack

Explosives will be used to fell the Port Kembla Copper stack within a 250-metre exclusion zone.
Explosives will be used to fell the Port Kembla Copper stack within a 250-metre exclusion zone.

Port Kembla Copper has set a date to bring down the stack - Friday, September 6.

General manager Ian Wilson said explosives would be used to blow out a wedge at the base on the northern side of the 200-metre structure, causing it to fall in that direction and land entirely within the Port Kembla Copper (PKC) site.

However, he said there would be an exclusion zone of 250 metres around the site on the day.

"There are about 30 houses and 50 commercial and mixed-use premises within the planned exclusion zone in place during the demolition, and we'll be asking those residents to relocate to a nearby reception centre for a few hours while the removal is under way," Mr Wilson said.

A group called Stack 360 is still investigating ways to turn the structure into something with cultural and tourism value.

The deadline for that is August 12 and Mr Wilson said the demolition was a contingency plan.

If an alternative was discovered, the planned demolition would be suspended.

"PKC take a great interest as to the sustainability of any stack redevelopment project," he said.

"A failure and subsequent lapsing into disrepair could have significant adverse impact on future site occupants and local residents."

Should the demolition take place, Mr Wilson said he expected that the site would be ready for redevelopment by the end of the year.

That redevelopment could include purchase by a large corporation or PKC turning it into a business park featuring storage facilities.

He said the public would be kept informed in the lead-up to the operation.

"We're about five weeks out from the planned demolition of the stack, so I want to give Port Kembla residents time to make their own plans for the day the stack comes down," he said.

"There'll be a lot of information coming around to locals in the next few weeks, so they will be minimally affected by the plans.

"Regular updates will be sent to residents in the 2505 postcode and those who live within the 250-metre radius will have a visit from PKC staff in early August to talk about special needs, such as transport assistance."

The company has set up the website as well as freecall number 1800 688 587 for further information.

There will also be community information sessions this month.


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