Never mind the starving in Africa and the world awash with mass migration, this is important.
In 2009 the City of Melbourne passed a bylaw to enable the prosecution of skateboarders who were defiling the memory of those killed in the Bali terrorist bombing by skating all over the Lincoln Square Bali Bombing Memorial in Carlton.
Was the bylaw ever used? No. To quote a council employee in response to my email, we don't prosecute children. Why not? Their parents will have to pay and many of the skate boarders are not kids anyway.
As well as defiling the memorial every day now, it used to be just weekends, along the bench they sit on, and they strew rubbish underneath. In the very early morning someone, a council worker I guess, must remove the rubbish and the memorial is well looked after.
Lincoln Square, where the memorial is, is also a local park and local residents are complaining that they don't feel comfortable going there with all the skateboarders around.
Finally, City of Melbourne is reacting and is going to shut down the square and renovate it to be unsuitable for skateboarders, who have also I might add, removed some of the anti skateboard devices, and unscrewed signs prohibiting skateboarding.
There is a petition against this at Change.org. Don't any of you dare sign it. One tosser said something like, they were young people who were killed in the Bali bombing, so they would not mind. For god's sake, they are dead and past minding. It is about a memorial that people can visit and remember and maybe grieve.
When R's sister and now bro in law first visited us from England, we took them one evening to Lygon Street for dinner. I can't remember why, but after dinner we were in Lincoln Square and there were no skateboarders. I stared into the illuminated water jets, remembering the terrible event, while R's sister and husband were fascinated by the bats flying around.
Governments are very fond of making new laws when a problem arises, but there is almost always a law that already covers the problem. In this case it is a bylaw that was never used. So what was the point of it?
I am thoroughly a grumpy old man, complaining about skateboarders. But if only they did not leave their litter behind, I might take a more charitable view.
Anyway, I hope soon enough Lincoln Square and the Bali Bombing Memorial will no longer be a pseudo skate park.
I ask you, would New York citizens tolerate skating around the 911 memorial? Would UK citizens tolerate skating around the London Tube Bombing Memorial?
Later: I just searched my blog for Bali Memorial and I have written eleven posts mentioning it mostly mentioning the skateboarders. I guess my blog is not an effective method of protest, but I am sure my emails helped. Here is a link to one post with photos.