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Thursday, 30 July 2020

Port Phillip Council will temporarily fence off two skate parks tomorrow after concerns that
skateboarders ignoring existing barriers risk spreading the COVID-19 virus.

All skate parks, including those at St Kilda and Port Melbourne, are closed under the VictorianGovernment’s COVID-19 Stage 3 restrictions.

The decision to put fencing around the skate parks follows a request by Victoria Police for extra physical barriers to help them enforce COVID-19 rules.

Mayor Bernadene Voss said tape barriers at Port Phillip playgrounds and outdoor fitness stations – also closed under Stage 3 restrictions – are being respected.

“We are concerned this is not the case at skate parks, which are continuing to be visited by skaters of all ages, sometimes up to 30 people at one time,” Cr Voss said.

Council understood the frustration felt by skaters, especially youngsters, at this challenging time.

“Public safety, however, must come first. We all need to play our part in helping stop the spread of this highly infectious virus which strikes all ages,” Cr Voss said.

“We will remove the fencing as soon as possible after the restrictions are lifted as we want these fantastic spaces to be enjoyed – safely.”
Cr Voss said several other councils had added extra barriers to their skate parks after experiencing the same health concerns.

While Port Phillip had considered using rocks, sand or mulch to fill the bowls, it decided on
temporary fencing as this option provides a greater visual deterrent and is cheaper and easier to remove.

Fencing also means there is no risk of damaging the skate parks or debris being blown around, into drains.

Council’s local laws officers will continue to regularly patrol the skate parks and notify Victoria Police of COVID-19 breaches as police are responsible for enforcing the Government’s restrictions.