By ERWIN CHLANDA
The close proximity of a service station gas tank to dwellings under construction in Larapinta Drive has authorities, the owner and the land developers scratching their heads.
The tank, as well as “fuel points” through which underground tanks are being filled, are on the western boundary of Mobil Larapinta. The nearest flats under construction next-door are within about two metres.
Tony Connor, part-owner of the long established servo, says so far as he knows there are no regulations about the positioning of gas tanks in the NT.
When the tank was installed he used as his guide requirements in force interstate – a 12 metre distance from the service station building.
Significantly, he says he also drew to the attention of the Department of Lands the position of the tank and fill points when the development application for next door was being processed.
Now Mr Connor is seeking advice from Caltex – but it’s not to hand as yet.
And the developer next-door, Probuild, is erecting a 2.1 metre wall on the boundary.
Probuild’s Phil Danby says “the tanks are on someone else’s land,” and what is being built on Probuild’s land is in complete accord with the statutory permissions granted.
Mr Connor says it is rare for the gas tank to vent: it usually happens in temperatures exceeding 45 degrees, and sprinklers to cool the tank are activated manually.
However, this depends on someone noticing the venting.
Mr Connor says there is no solution to the problem at the moment: “We don’t have anywhere else to put the gas tank, nor the fill points,” he says.
The prevailing winds in Alice Springs are south-easterly which puts some flats down-wind from the gas tank.