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Don’t do your block!

Safety and Security is one of my main platforms, we live in a world now that has been influenced by fear in such a negative way. If any Territorians, just coming back from school holidays in Sydney and Melbourne will attest we have a new constant reminder of the fear we are supposed to be living in, The Bollard.

These new concrete block bollards are now popping up all over Australia at key public venues and centers. Do they actually work? Well counter-terrorism authorities worldwide certainly seem to think so according to several councils and the Australian Media. But as a member of an Australian Security forum the discussion is more about their occupational health and Safety effects not only to the Australian psyche but also to their height, features and failures, the only thing we agreed on is they stopped vehicles.

These oblong concrete block generally with two to four large square holes in them fail on so many levels.

  • There height although high enough to stop a vehicle is almost exactly knee height for the average Australian person and the block sits and an inadequate viewing height and width to allow for the average ergonomic correction.

  • They are extremely heavy and increase the weight per Square meter considerably and some of these are above tunnel structures, sewerage and power pits etc. They can compress the soil and or damage infra-structure.

  • They are singular purpose, don’t get me wrong I have been inundated by the new art being painted on them but they will not create the new craze like the Concrete cows because inherently they have no Artist flair. They are a concrete block.

  • They are a deterrent to not just terrorist, but also the public who have an increased sense of anxiety when confronted by such ugly design and a reminder of the fear in which we are all supposed to live.

  • They don’t stop motorcycles or bikes.

I don’t know if the person’s that came up with these ideas are just ignorant, if these are just so substantially cheap to install, even if not ergonomically sound nor safe, either way they aren’t a progressive idea.

Australian has had bollards in our communities for over a hundred years. An assortment of materials have been used including natural tree’s, plants, concrete, steel, timber, polymer, plastic, and a mix between some or all of them. Some bollards are fixed, some are transportable and some are controlled electronically.

The most common modern usable bollard is the Bin Bollard. But other designs have included fountains, Artistic round balls, lighting, pop-up, furniture, golf balls, solar, artistic furniture and a mixture of featured including lounge and bin, lounge and lighting etc.

In Council it is important to maintain the deterrent but it is more important to maintain the well-being of the public and to add value to asset with any type of bollard used.

I believe in a basic set of questions in regards to the use or creation of any form of security bollards.

  • Does it meet the needs of the community and Society?

  • Does it enhance the well-being of the community?

  • Does it reduce the well being of the community?

  • Is it cost effective?

  • Will it pose a risk to the public?

  • Will it add value to the area, community, location?

  • Can we create a better solution?

In the Top End for instance, the most common use of Bollard is natural vegetation or tree’s, Palm or otherwise followed by timber logs. Over the years we have moved to a range of alternatives but the least used at the moment is the Artistic and furniture creation, the one we should seriously consider is the solar.

We live in the City with the greatest amount of Solar potential energy produced in a 12 month period, yet we capture very little of the energy that is produced.

I would like the Darwin city council to create a Safety Plan for Darwin, in this plan I would like a plan to create and install a number of different bollards, functional and exploitable. Darwin has produced and still has some of the greatest Artists Australia has to offer, we need their help.

Imagine if you could, a 10 Meter long dreaming serpent, with solar scales on the back and situated along it an inserted bin, a concrete or timber lounge to sit on and a variety of lights that come on in the evening. Concrete Crocodiles with stories like “Sweet Heart”, concrete Frog chairs etc. This is just some of several ideas that have been shared with me by some of the youths I’ve met at Casuarina square. Their (the children’s as well as many artists) imaginations are limitless.

In this era we need to make investments into the safety and security of our City and our community, we might as well embrace our natural culture, nature and lifestyle at the same time. What better way to deter evil than to meet it with creations of love.

If Safety and Security matter to you this election, vote for a progressive Councillor. If you live or have friends that live in the ward of Richardson get them to Vote 1 for Sam Wilks this 26th August 2017.

Note : Written and Authorized by Sam Wilks. The views included may not be those of others mentioned in the article but are those of Sam Wilks. If you have other idea’s feel free to comment below. Idea’s and differing opinion is recognition of a free and just democratic society. A Society I am happy to live in. Please however try not to be abusive or discriminative, you may be. But if I feel that your opinion may be harmful or is reported as being harmful, I will delete it. Sam Wilks 0402 152 929 PO Box 40441 Casuarina NT 0810

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