Everyone’s safety is our responsibility
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.
While some of these jumps are relatively small and might appear to be low risk, regardless of size, there is always the possibility of serious injury, and no one wants to see a young person get unnecessarily hurt doing what they enjoy.
While most accidents on these jumps usually result in abrasions, or perhaps a broken bone, there is a real risk of a much worse outcome, such as brain damage and loss of mobility with devastating lifelong impacts for the individual and their families and friends, especially when a jump is not structurally sound.
These outcomes can, do, and have happened, therefore Council has an obligation to ensure the safety of our community, including our young people, which is why Council has for many years removed such jumps built on Council and Crown managed land.
Caring for our environment
We need to be particularly careful of damage to the natural environment. When dirt jumps are built by riders, it often causes damage to trees and plants, grassed surfaces, garden beds, mulched areas and tree roots, due to the digging required to remove the 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. Construction of tracks may result in damage to bushland including areas with endangered ecological communities, threatened species or Aboriginal heritage value. And just because “no one was using the bush” does not mean its biodiversity and intrinsic environmental value are not important to our community.
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 or they may have legitimate concerns that their properties will be affected, for example by changes to drainage. When Council builds something, we talk to all those who will be affected by it, including those living close by, to ensure that everyone’s feedback is considered.