The way Melbourne’s CBD looks is about to change dramatically as authorities instal concrete safety barriers at key landmarks throughout city in response to the rising threat from terrorism.
The move comes following January’s Bourke Street Mall attack, which left five people dead after a man drove his car through the busy pedestrian shopping precinct, and the repeated use of vehicles as a weapon in terrorist attacks overseas.
The temporary concrete blocks are already being installed in Bourke Street Mall and along the northern edge of Federation Square in a joint venture between the state government and City of Melbourne.
Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the works will give people confidence as they move around the city.
“We will continue to work closely with Victoria Police and the State Government to make sure Melbourne has the best possible security response to whatever threat may arise,” he said.
The barriers will be installed at other sites around the city in coming weeks to restrict vehicle access and boost security at some of Melbourne’s most popular areas.
The sites have been chosen by Victoria Police based on levels of foot traffic, public gatherings and significance to Melbourne but are not being revealed for security reasons authorities say.
Ultimately, the temporary barriers will be replaced by permanent or retractable bollards as part of a $10 million program by the state government.
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