An all in brawl outside a nightclub in Melbourne; a horrific death in the middle of Sydney airport, and the same tired old scape goats are wheeled out to bear blame. Bikies, alcohol, racial tensions – throw a dart a cliche board and you’ll find a reason why these two events, and many other acts of brutal violence, occur every week. Are they serious? Even a cursory glance at the facts surrounding these and other egregious acts will turn up the same common denominator: bollards.
For too long has society skirted around the issue of bollards in favour of laying the blame for social chaos at the feet of the soft targets. Sure, it wins votes and keeps the AM radio stations buzzing, but it isn’t solving the problem. While the tabloid press busies itself dragging another bouncer or Lebanese gang member over the coals, bollards remain standing with impunity at ticket booths and people are dying.
Defenders of bollards – let’s call them the Bollard Lobby – will claim that they are merely functional structures designed to hold ropes that ensure public order. Interesting. There is another functional invention designed to hold ropes and ensure public order and it’s called the gallows.
Everywhere you find bollards you find the potential for wild violence – nightclubs, airports, cinemas, banks, carnivals, aquariums. Why not just put a machine gun in the hand of a angry monkey, feed it chili and amphetamines, and drop it into a primary school?
Hopefully, this time, our leaders will see fit to avoid the spin and address the problem. After all, didn’t we risk our lives queueing up to vote for them?