While we understand that it may seem like harmless fun to build a few dirt jumps in an empty grassed area, there are a number of reasons why we can’t allow this to happen.
The first is safety. As a Council, we need to make sure that anything built on Council land is safe – for both the users and passers-by. When community members build their own jumps, we can’t ensure that what has been built is safe – either in the design or construction. And while there will always be some level of risk involved in any skate or BMX facility, Council can manage this by having any facility professionally designed and built, and regularly checking and maintaining them.
We also need to be particularly careful of the damage dirt jumps can cause to the natural environment. When dirt jumps are built by the community, it often causes damage to garden beds, grassed surfaces, mulched areas and tree roots due to the digging required to move dirt. Sometimes the jumps are built in our conservation areas, causing damage to endangered plant species. It’s important that we ensure our natural environment, beautiful landscapes and opens spaces are being taken care of.
Lastly, we need to consider what the whole community want. While an open space may seem like a good place to build jumps, residents with properties that surround that open space may not like the idea of having something built so close to their homes. When Council builds something, we talk to all those who will be affected by it, and those living close by to ensure that everyone’s feedback is considered.
We want the community to be involved in all phases of the project.
If you would like to be involved, register here. You will then be invited to be a part of the initial online workshops to help develop the concept plans. Additional activities will follow once the concept design has been developed.
By registering your interest you will also receive regular updates from Council on the progress of the project. Alternatively, you may like to join the community run Facebook page - Doreen Dirt Jumps and BMX Track Advocacy Group who are working closely with Council.
As part of the feasibility study, Council will investigate the possibility of building permanent dirt jumps at Hilltop Park. This will allow us to determine whether this is the best location or whether the dirt jumps will be better suited at another site in the area.
Council’s Cycle, Sports and Skate Strategy was endorsed in 2015. This strategy outlines a plan for all of Council’s skate, BMX and cycle facilities until 2025.
As the strategy does not allow for additional BMX / dirt jump facilities to be constructed in the Doreen area, the feasibility study will address the need for dirt jumps in the area, investigate appropriate sites and provide Council with an accurate understanding of the costs.
Currently Council is only investigating the Doreen area, along with Mernda. Council has listened to the Doreen community and their request for dirt jumps in the area. We also recognise that there is a gap in appropriate BMX facilities in this area and are making this project a priority.
We will be undertaking a municipal wide investigation into the provision of BMX facilities across the City of Whittlesea.
Other skate and BMX projects coming up include:
We are working to build the dirt jumps as quickly as possible. Our aim is to have them completed within the next 12 months. We will be able to provide a more accurate update on timing once the feasibility study is complete.
The community should not be building their own dirt jumps for the reasons outlined above. If you are passionate about dirt jumps, work with us and get involved in the designing of a permeant dirt jumps facility – register your details here.