An online petition calling on Orica to relocate its Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate storage facility had attracted almost 2000 signatures on Wednesday night.
The petition, which follows last week's devastating explosion in Beirut, is an initiative of several Newcastle community groups and GetUp.
"Newcastle has a ticking time bomb of 6,000 to 12,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate sitting just 800 metres away from Newcastle residents," the petition reads.
"Please stand with the people of Newcastle to demand Orica immediately relocate their ammonium nitrate stockpile to a safer location away from homes."
Orica told the Newcastle Herald last week that there had not been any safety incidents regarding the ammonium nitrate in the plant's 51 years of operation.
"Orica has stringent practices in place to ensure the safe storage and handling of ammonium nitrate. Practices are carried out in accordance with all regulatory requirements including the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, Australian Standards and the Explosives Act," manager Paul Hastie said.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said he had sought assurances from the planning minister and the EPA about the plant's safety.
"The community is justifiably concerned like I am, and how could you not be after what we've seen overseas?,' he said.
Mr Crakanthorp has also called on Orica to hold a public briefing about its processes for handing ammonium nitrate.
"The NSW Government must get involved and act immediately. They must listen to local residents, and hear their very valid concerns. They must do everything necessary to satisfy both themselves and the local community that safety measures are place."
"A City of Newcastle spokeswoman said the council did not play a role in regulating safety at the plant."
The plant regulated by SafeWork NSW under specific workplace safety laws.
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