Stack demo: emergency services stand ready

Fire and Rescue NSW will be on standby in the event the Port Kembla stack demolition doesn't go according to plan.

One pumper and one Hazmat team will be ready to respond from outside the exclusion zone, while Illawarra NSW Fire and Rescue zone commander Ed Salinas will act as a liaison officer at the Port Kembla command centre.

Mr Salinas said his role was to "instruct our people to get to action" if required.

"We're there supporting the police in this operation and for the 'what if'," he said. Mr Salinas said other Fire and Rescue resources could be called on if the need arose.

"Wollongong and Port Kembla is a relatively small area," he said. "Fire and Rescue have all their resources on call 24/7 ... all resources are on standby, as we are every other day."

Port Kembla Copper general manager Ian Wilson said police were expected to commence a doorknock of residents in the exclusion zone about 7.30 this morning.

Approximately 250 properties are within the exclusion zone.

"It should take about half an hour to three-quarters of an hour for the exclusion zone to be completely evacuated," Mr Wilson said. "Then there's about 15 minutes of final checks before the licensed shot firer has finished his work.

"He acknowledges to the police command, and the police command make their final determination that the exclusion zone is free, then we initiate the detonation."

Wollongong Police Inspector Jim Fryday said he didn't envisage any problems evacuating residents from the exclusion zone.

He said no residents indicated that they intended to remain in the zone during the detonation.

"We've engaged extensively with community, as have Port Kembla Copper," Insp Fryday said.

"Our sole responsibility here is evacuation and the safety of community in relation to that demolition. Superintendent Kyle Stewart will give the final go-ahead for the demolition to begin from the command centre, located at the Port Kembla Port Authority."

He said the stack felling should last no longer than 10 seconds.

Illawarra NSW Fire and Rescue zone commander Ed Salinas.

Illawarra NSW Fire and Rescue zone commander Ed Salinas.


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