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Hoon hotspot raising hell for locals

05 Dec 2018

Hoon hotspot raising hell for locals Image

By Niccola Anthony

A group of car enthusiasts who meet twice a week at Yarra’s Edge are making life increasingly difficult for residents in surrounding Yarra’s Edge properties.

The group generally meets every Friday and Saturday night, except in poor weather, in Point Park Cres. The crescent circles around the Yarra Point complex and is bordered by Point Park and the Yarra River to the north.

On nights of gatherings, cars will enter the crescent from Lorimer St in groups of six to 10 cars at time, before proceeding to do a loop down the length of South Wharf Drive around the meeting point. The gatherings can attract anywhere between 20 to 100 cars a night.

Cars have been documented parking illegally on the grassy patch opposite the Yarra Point complex (known as “Mirvac park”) and in a no standing zone along Point Park Crescent.

Local resident Max Dow is fed up with the twice-weekly interruptions to his weekend plans and has made numerous attempts to address the issue through City of Melbourne and Southbank Police Station.

“On a really nice Friday or Saturday night, my door will be shut to prevent the car fumes from getting in,” Mr Dow said.

“They’re there, they’re showing the cars off, the bonnets are up, engines are running – but the fumes get so bad that you have to shut all the windows and doors. And that’s why I really started to get annoyed.”

Mr Dow said the cars frequenting the area were standard cars that have been reworked with flashy new features, with a number of them sporting car club stickers and logos.

“It has now become a meeting point for anybody who has a car to show off,” Mr Dow said. “Any sort of car that you want to name, but they’re done up to the hilt.”

Mr Dow is unimpressed by the lack of action on the issue by local authorities. Contact with City of Melbourne was first made through Cr Kevin Louey, who Mr Dow said had a working relationship with the owners’ corporation of his building, before the issue was delegated to Dean Robertson, the city’s manager of on-street compliance services.

Mr Robertson had earlier recommended Mr Dow call 000 in the event of a gathering occurring, so Mr Dow has been calling 000 now for six weeks.

As a result, police presence in the area has escalated to the point where members of the Public Response Unit visited the area, talking to patrons about anti-social behaviour and moving cars on where required.

However, Mr Dow argued that a greater response was needed on the part of the council and the police to contain the issue so that local residents’ full enjoyment of their properties wasn’t impacted.

“It’s gotten around that ‘this is a place we can meet and nobody is going to do anything about it’. I just can’t believe that it has been allowed to go on for this long,” Mr Dow said.

“I can’t stop them coming. All I want to happen is that, when they do come, they be respectful, park legally and don’t wake me up at midnight when they decide to do burnouts on the street when they’re leaving.”

Southbank Police said they were aware of the problem and were assessing the best approach to combat it. The City of Melbourne was contacted for comment but had not responded before the time of publication.

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