Children and young people on the Mornington Peninsula discovered a new hobby during the Coronavirus lockdown – building bike jumps.
COVID-19 restrictions forced many outdoor sporting facilities including skate parks and playgrounds to close during winter and spring. This placed more pressure on our environment as some young people and families sought to create their own recreational outlet by constructing bike jumps within their five kilometres radius.
While we appreciate the energy, creativity and enjoyment of those involved in creating bike jumps, the Shire has also received many complaints from other park and bushland users whose enjoyment and safe use of these spaces have been affected. Volunteer groups looking after bushland areas over many years have also seen impacts to surrounding fauna and flora.
The Shire has a responsibility to ensure all residents are safe and our environment is protected and is undertaking works to achieve this including removal of bike jumps. Please be respectful of Shire staff as they carry out these duties.
However, we understand there is a wish in the community for these experiences and we are currently assessing whether any of the illegally constructed bike jumps can be made safe and allowed to continue.
Engagement with the local community will be crucial and we will need users, key stakeholders and residents to become actively involved for this to be viable.
$60,000 in this year’s Council Budget has been allocated to develop a Mountain Bike and BMX Strategy to provide more bike sports opportunities on Shire land.
The Mountain Bike and BMX Strategy will ensure trails and jumps are in appropriate locations and designed together with the community. We need to consider community safety and the broad range of users and abilities, while also protecting the Peninsula’s unique environment and ecological values.
We will seek input from all residents on the Strategy. To keep up to date on this project and be notified when the draft Strategy opens for community consultation, go to mornpen.vic.gov.au/bikesports.
The Shire manages and maintains four bike sports facilities on the Peninsula, including:
- Dromana Pump Track, Hillview Reserve, Boundary Road
- Red Hill Mountain Bike Skills Park, Red Hill Station Grounds
- Harold Reid Reserve BMX track, Baxter
- Westpark Reserve BMX track, Hastings