Victorians slam Dan Andrews for placing BOLLARDS over bike tracks so kids can’t exercise in lockdown
Opposition James Newbury (pictured) called decision to install bollards ‘stupid’
Outraged Melburnians trapped in Covid lockdown have smashed concrete bollards installed in a skate park to prevent kids from playing sports.
Graffiti spray painted black over the barriers of the skate park and bike path Glen Iris in the south east of the city, reading ‘Bag Dan’, ‘Free our children’ and ‘Victoria under house arrest’.
The Andrews administration sensationally backtracked on the ban on children’s playgrounds early this month after widespread community opposition, but decided to keep skate parks and bike paths closed.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton later made the embarrassing admission that children’s play areas pose little risk of Covid transmission to children – with no cases recorded in Australia.
He clarified that the rule despised by Victorian parents was actually put in place to prevent adults from mixing in the venues while their little ones play.
In Melbourne’s Glen Iris skate park (pictured), bollards have been put up to prevent young people from using the park – despite the extremely low risk of Covid transmission outdoors
Furious protesters have posted graffiti in skate park (pictured), angry over draconian lockdown rule
Opposition MP James Newbury told Daily Mail Australia it’s time Prime Minister Dan Andrew’s gave Victoria’s long-suffering youth a break.
“Talking about a stupid decision by Daniel Andrews,” he said.
“Children don’t have an appointment to go back to school and they have to go outside for fresh air and exercise.
“Denying our kids access to bike lanes, for example, is stupid, and that’s the politest way I can say it.”
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Prime Minister’s office for comment on the matter.
Playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks and fitness equipment in metropolitan Melbourne were closed from August 16
HOW PLAYGROUNDS WERE CLOSED IN 2020
Professor Sutton also closed playgrounds last July.
Victoria had registered a Covid-19 case on June 27, and it quickly became Victoria’s biggest source of outbreak at the time.
Just days after that first case was handed down, Mr Andrews closed playgrounds across most of Melbourne’s west.
On August 2, the prime minister began enforcing his first curfew for people who leave their homes every night between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions for work or medical care and family care.
Playgrounds would be closed off until mid-September for the rest of Melbourne’s cold winter.
Last year, children’s playgrounds were closed for months during Victoria’s second deadly wave, which left more than 800 dead after leaking from its own bungled hotel quarantine plan.
“My advice on playgrounds was originally because we saw people using it as a loophole to hold de facto meetings about households, neighborhoods, families,” said Professor Sutton.
“By reopening playgrounds, absolutely with children’s well-being and considerations in mind, but we’re going to have QR codes as a mandatory requirement.”
Melbourne’s parents had pleaded with Prime Minister Daniel Andrews to introduce such a scheme on Aug. 16, when he announced for the second time that the only form of fun many children had would be banned.
Their calls fell on deaf ears at the time, as Professor Sutton claimed he acted on evidence that playgrounds posed a serious transmission risk for children who played on them.
“We are investigating a possible transmission in a playground,” he claimed.
“It’s not final and maybe we can’t make it final, but it looks like there’s been a transfer in a playground.”
He supported the vicious plan with news that the ‘Delta’ variant of Covid-19 had been spread among children walking home from school.
“We’ve also seen transference between students who weren’t in class together, who had no other personal interaction than a walk home, didn’t play together, didn’t live together, didn’t have classes together,” he said.
The next day, playgrounds in Melbourne were taped off under threat of heavy fines if children tried to use them.
A council employee shuts down a swing in Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens on Aug. 17
Presidents Park in Werribee was cordoned off with warning signs indicating it is a danger zone
Newbury said the Victorian government eventually reversed their decision after “intense public pressure”.
“But to make matters worse, he’s kept bike lanes and skate parks closed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s Covid outbreak continues to worsen with 445 new infections on Tuesday and two more deaths, bringing the total number of active cases to 3,799.
Of the new cases, only 129 have been linked to the rest of the Delta outbreak, raising fears that the number of infections will continue to rise as Melburnians endure their sixth week of the city’s grueling lockdown.
The two dead include a man in his 20s from Hume in northern Melbourne, who died at home, and a woman in her 80s from the western suburb of Brimbank.
There are now 158 Victorians in hospital with the virus, 45 of them in the ICU and 23 on a ventilator.