Council bulldozes popular but “not permitted” BMX hotspot

By James Bennett

Greater Shepparton City Council is under fire from a small group of locals who are angry at its decision to clear man-made BMX jumps near Lincoln Dve, Shepparton.

The BMX jumps were a popular hot spot for teenagers in the bushland next to the Broken River, but council said it was not permitted.

Council's infrastructure director Phil Hoare admitted the decision would be unpopular with users but came about because of "community concerns".

“It might not be seen as a popular decision, however, council has an obligation to respond where concerns of safety and risk of significant injury are raised or identified,” Mr Hoare said.

“... It is not permitted or appropriate to disturb the natural environment to construct bike jumps and the like on public land.

“Unauthorised construction of these on public land creates a public safety risk and can result in significant public liability implications.”

Shane Schemioneck said he helped build the jumps more than 10 years ago and they had always been well maintained by users.

Mr Schemioneck said he "completely" understood why council removed the BMX jumps, but was not happy with the lack of communication.

He said he was frustrated council did not consult with users before coming through unexpectedly to remove the jumps.

“It might have looked destructive to the land, but the way they (council) have left it looks ten times worse,” Mr Schemioneck said.

“I accept they had to knock through.

“The kids that use the jumps are good kids; they pick up their rubbish and maintain the area well.”

Mr Hoare said council was investigating establishing a pump track and encouraged anyone who wanted to get involved to contact council or a local bike store.