Catching a whiff of concern during service station debate

Ingrid Jackson
Ingrid Jackson

A LACK of state regulations on vapour capture means Noosa Council is not about to require the latest service station approvalon Noosa Eumundi Rd to use this health and environmental safeguard.

Councillor Ingrid Jackson in discussing the latest Coles Express application, mentioned the concern about vapours at a previous proposed service station beside the Good Shepherd Lutheran College.

"In New South Wales they've actually taken the step in the State Government to have that (vapour capture) as regulation, but in Queensland that's not the case," Cr Jackson said.

"I think there was a fair bit of discussion at the time when we were looking at that being so near the (college) pool - (about) vapour capture.

"I'm just wondering if that's something that's been thought about. Technology keeps progressing and vapour capture is something worth thinking about," she said.

Mayor Tony Wellington said because it is not a regulation in Queensland vapour capture conditions would be difficult to enforce.

The NSW Environment Protection Agency website said petrol vapours contain volatile organic compounds including benzene, xylene and toluene and "vehicles and service stations are a big contributor to poor air quality in NSW".

It said there are two types of vapour recovery systems - one that captures emissions when a tanker delivers petrol to a service station (VR1) and the other displaced vapours at the bowser while a motorist refuels (VR2).

"Around 1240 petrol service stations from Port Stephens to Shoalhaven and west to the Blue Mountains are required to install or upgrade to VR1 technology by January 2015 and/or VR2 by January 2017.

Southern media reports have raised the cost of installing the latest systems at around $500,000 which could drive independent operators out of business.

While the council gave conditional approval to the Coles Express service station, it refused the operational works signage application.

The councillors decided the food outlet sign was not proportional to the scale of the building and was "out of character with and would not contribute positively to the streetscape and surrounding area”.

Councillor Joe Jurisevic previously had asked if there was sufficient turnaround for the tanker to avoid reversing out on to Noosa-Eumundi Rd.

"There would be nothing worse than blocking that road with a tanker,” Cr Jurisevic said.

Staff said the applicant has already demonstrated how a tanker could drive in and drive out.

Cr Jurisevic said he was pleased to see rainwater tanks installed at the site as well.

He was also interested as to the proposed hours of operation.

Staff said the service station should have the capability to operate 24 hours.

Mayor Tony Wellington said it was fantastic that this service station had photo voltaic cells on the roof and a charge station for electric cars, bicycles and motorcycles.

"However, I'm aware there are some inverters that are suitable down the track for battery use and there are some that aren't.

"It is feasible to make a request or recommendation that the inverter associated with photo voltaic cells is capable of feeding into a battery source. It's crazy that some people are actually putting in inverters that aren't.

"It's just a little reminder that in two years' time batteries are going to become more efficient and more affordable,” he said.

Planning and environment manager Kerri Coyle said staff would hold discussions with the applicant.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.