25 April 2008

Moonie to Brisbane Oil Pipeline to Close


Thousands of southeast Queensland properties are set to increase dramatically in value following the closure of the Moonie to Brisbane oil pipeline.

Energy giant Santos announced late yesterday the pipeline would close permanently after last year's major oil spill at Algester which forced the evacuation of 500 homes.

Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully - who has fought for the scrapping of the 44-year old pipeline for more than a decade - welcomed the decision saying it was a tremendous relief for thousands of residents living next to the pipeline between Ipswich and Brisbane.

Picture of a Moonie oil pipeline warning sign adjacent
to a residential area on Jones Road at Bellbird Park.

Last July, Cr Tully called for the the 300km pipeline to be closed after a series of oil spills in residential areas.

The pipeline has never been re-opened since the major spill at Algester.

Cr Tully said the pipeline - which was laid in 1964 - should have been shut down years ago as it had become an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

The pipeline runs from Moonie passing south of Toowoomba, through the Lockyer Valley to Ipswich then across the Logan Motorway into Brisbane's southern suburbs terminating at the oil refineries at Lytton.

Cr Tully said the pipeline operator Santos has treated the public very poorly with many residents unable to build pools or house extensions because the pipeline ran within metres of their homes.

He said the Algester disaster had followed a $300,000 fine on the company with estimated cleanup costs of $2 million after the pipeline burst in 2003 adjacent to the Brisbane River at Lytton spilling 1.9 million litres of crude oil into nearby mangroves.

Cr Tully has called on Santos to relinquish their easements along the pipeline route immediately saying it would boost the value of some properties by up to $100,000.

He said hundreds of property owners in Ipswich eastern suburbs particularly around Redbank Plains, Bellbird Park and Camira would benefit from the pipeline closure enabling many existing properties to be subdivided and house owners to expand their homes and construct pools and garden sheds for the first time.


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