‘Heavy handed’ council set to flatten bike jumps built by kids
A local council looks set to bulldoze a series of bike jumps constructed by a group of young kids during lockdown.
Jeremy Smith, whose son Ignatius is one of the boys who built the dirt jumps, told Shane McInnes on 3AW Drive they were built on a vacant spot of land.
He said the boys were being “industrious” and built the jumps during lockdown, spending time there after school, taking shovels down to the site near Moonee Ponds creek.
“It began during the early stages of the lockdown maybe March and April,” he said.
He said about a week ago the Moonee Valley Council put up a notice to say they would level the jumps, due to vegetation and safety concerns.
“I think that’s the thing that’s really upset them. They went down there yesterday and were confronted with a bobcat that was there with the intention of simply bulldozing them,” Mr Smith said.
“There is absolutely risk, but I would describe it as positive risk. It’s a risk that has young people testing themselves, working together to construct something.
“The council has taken … what I think is a very heavy handed approach.”
He said the local ward councillor came down to speak to the boys about the bike jumps.
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In a statement, mayor Cam Nation said the council was undertaking an assessment of the bike jumps following community feedback.
“We appreciate the time and effort that our local youth have put into this project, however we also need to ensure that the health and safety of our community is not compromised,” Cr Nation said.
“Council also needs to ensure our local native environment is preserved.
“Moonee Valley City Council is already working with our local youth on a long-term solution and permanent bike jumps facility.”