By Karina Schulz Wharwood
The 440 temporary concrete blocks that had been placed around the CBD are in the process of being replaced with the new permanent solutions.
On November 20, Bourke St Mall was the first of nine sites to receive the permanent metal bollards to protect from vehicle attacks.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the $10 million CBD security upgrade was tested with speed and weight, using worst-case scenarios, to ensure its effectiveness.
“We have worked closely with Victoria Police and the City of Melbourne to ensure these permanent structures are as effective as they can be and where we need them most,” she said.
The concrete blocks were installed as a temporary solution in June.
Premier Daniel Andrews said: “Following January’s Bourke St tragedy we acted immediately to put in place security measures to protect our city and keep Victorians safe.”
The removal and installation of new barriers will be staged over the next year.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the mall would not become unrecognisable. Rather, he said, the new works would merely add a layer of protection.
“The emphasis is on creating comprehensive safe zones to protect people from a hostile vehicle attack,” Cr Doyle said.
“With 720 tram movements and up to 75,000 pedestrian movements per day, and on busy days it can be up to 100,000 people, we face some unique challenges here.”
Parliament House hosted a Community Hero Awards ceremony the same day, where bystanders were honoured for their bravery.
Ambulance Services Minister Jill Hennessy said: “It’s important we recognise and take inspiration as a community from the confidence that each of our heroes showed to put their own fear aside and step in to help someone in a life or death situation.”
“Hero cabbie” Lou Bougias and City of Melbourne councillor Tessa Sullivan accepted a special public medal, on behalf of several bystanders who helped paramedics to save lives on January 20.
The awards also honoured 14 people who helped save lives in medical emergencies this year.