Vandals who damaged the Border BMX Club facilities over the past few years are set to be stopped in their tracks after the Victorian government and Wodonga Council granted money for safety upgrades.
Northern Victorian MP Jaclyn Symes announced the government would contribute $10,000 towards a new security light and fence, just days after councillors agreed to increase funding and help build the full $22,000 fence required.
BMX club president Rick Smith said the security light would be installed soon and he hoped work could get underway on the fence in a couple of months.
“There has been a lot of vandalism out at the track,” he said.
“We’ve had cars try and drive over the track, we’ve had motorbikes on the track, we’ve had people hit the doors with what looks to be an axe.”
The major issues have occurred when people used the track in wet weather, causing “ruts” in the surface and making it uneven and unsafe for competitions.
The 1.8-metre fence would only be locked during wet conditions or in the lead up to the club’s one or two major events each year.
“The track isn’t going to be closed to the public, that’s not what the whole idea of this is,” Mr Smith said.
“Education is a lot of it, I don’t think people really understand that riding the track does cause damage and it is volunteers that repair the track. We’ve had a couple of kids down there and we’ve just explained to them what actually happens to the track when they ride it when it’s wet and they’ve been really receptive.”
He said the club has produced state and world-class BMX riders who got their start on the Wodonga track and it was an important facility for young people involved in the sport.
Ms Symes said the money from the state government was allocated through the community safety fund, aimed at reducing crime.
“These grants recognise that local councils and not-for- profit community groups are best placed to identify local crime problems and, importantly, to develop solutions,” she said.
“Councils and community groups have harnessed their local knowledge and come up with real solutions to local issues.”