Despite our best efforts to keep the area open, the makeshift bike jumps created during the pandemic at Glenbervie Station will be temporarily closed immediately due to high safety risk.
It follows advice from specialist arborists, who this week, inspected the 23 sugar gum trees that surround the jumps.
They recommended closing the site to the public, noting that the majority of the trees contain substantial, obvious structural defects.
Moonee Valley City Council CEO Helen Sui said with rain and thunderstorms forecast for the next few days we cannot take the risk of a gum tree falling and potentially causing serious injuries or worse to someone using the tracks.
“This isn’t the outcome we were hoping for, but a temporary closure is the right thing to do.
“We know this particular site is important to the young people and their families who’ve put a lot of hard work into creating it during this challenging time,” she said.
“However, we have a duty of care to keep our community safe.
“We can’t keep the area open and ignore this serious warning that someone may get very badly injured.”
Other places to jump
We know it’s important for young people to enjoy time outside, especially at the moment.
You can still use the bike jumps at Aberfeldie Park and Fanny Reserve, Moonee Ponds. However, we ask you don’t modify the jumps at these sites.
We’re working on finding a space where young people can build their own jumps safely and hope to have more to say on that soon.
What happens next?
Arborists will work on a detailed safety assessment of the Glenbervie area this week. We hope to receive a full report on a way forward in the next two weeks.
No jumps will be removed while the assessment is undertaken.
Bunting and closed signs will be put up at the site as soon as possible and fencing will be installed next week. We ask everyone stay out of the area for their own safety.
As reported on Monday, we will work with the community on a permanent solution.
We’re constantly trying to get the balance right between the needs of young people for outdoor recreation spaces, the wishes of our community, our responsibility to keep our open spaces safe for all to enjoy and the need to protect our precious environment and cultural heritage sites.
Please note: As Council elections approach Council staff are restricted in what we can do. You can read more about these restrictions in the Election Period Policy. It means we can’t immediately hold consultation but plan to do so after the Council election on Saturday, 24 October. We will report back to Council later in the year with recommendations for immediate and longer-term solutions.