More than 100 concrete bollards have appeared in the CBD overnight following works in eight major locations. The bollards were installed as an anti-terrorism measure to “restrict vehicle access and boost security” following January's Bourke Street massacre, according to a media release issued by the state Labor government.
The project was announced by Premier Daniel Andrews on June 10, and the first series of bollards were installed at Bourke Street Mall and Federation Square the same day. Further works last night brought the total up to eight individual sites in the city. The locations, selected by the Victoria Police on the basis of “foot traffic, public gatherings and significance to Melbourne”, are as follows:
–Queensbridge Square at Queensbridge Street, Southbank.
–Queensbridge Square at the intersection with Southbank Boulevard footpath.
–Boathouse Drive under Princes Bridge.
–Federation Square at the Swanston Street/Flinders Street intersection.
–Flinders Street Station at the Swanston Street/Flinders Street intersection.
–Southern Cross Station between Collins Street and Lt Collins Street.
–Southern Cross Station at Bourke Street.
–Queen Victoria Market.
A number of concerns have been raised by commuters passing through the CBD. Some say the bollards are unsightly, others believe it’s only a superficial security measure. It may also prove a navigation challenge to the legally blind, according to the Age.
The current bollards are intended to be temporary, to be replaced by a “network of permanent or retractable bollards”, according to the premier in his official announcement. These are most likely to be specially constructed planter boxes. Andrews further stressed the importance of the temporary concrete bollards to public safety, saying the project could not be delayed six or 12 months while a permanent solution was finalised.
The project will be funded by $10 million allocated in the 2017/18 Victorian budget.