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Melbourne’s Bayside Council takes extraordinary measure of filling skate parks with bark

A Melbourne council has filled the bowls at four skate parks with sand and bark after rebels continued to use them despite lockdown closures.

Bayside Council, 16km south of Melbourne, filled the bowls at Donald MacDonald Reserve in Beaumaris, Peterson Reserve in Highett Road, Elsternwick Park and Royal Avenue Reserve in Sandringham on Wednesday.

The council revealed they took the extreme measure to stop people from breaking Victoria’s Stage 3 restrictions after skaters continued to use the facilities.

‘Unfortunately skateboarders are continuing to visit and congregate in contravention of these restrictions and Victoria Police have requested Council’s immediate action,’ a statement from the council read.

Images showed council workers in high visibility shirts using a dump truck to empty the debris into the bowl.

The workers then used brooms to push the bark and sand around the bowl to distribute it evenly.

All of the workers were wearing masks, in accordance with coronavirus rules in place in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. 

Orange barricades were also used to stop people from using the ramps at the skate parks.

The move was made at the request of Victoria Police after concerns were raised about people using the skate park despite restrictions.

Skate parks in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire were closed when the areas entered into lockdown for the second time on July 8.

The statement said: ‘While we acknowledge the importance of physical exercise during the COVID-19 lock down, our first priority is the health and safety of our community.

‘The material will be removed once restrictions ease, in accordance with Victorian Government guidelines.’

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