Yack calls meet­ing on park ques­tion

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

A GROUP of Yackan­dan­dah res­i­dents has called a pub­lic meet­ing tonight in the town’s old court house to dis­cuss ways to re­in­state Stone Bridge Park for com­mu­nity and vis­i­tor use and re­lo­cate the skate park to Isaacs Park.

Paul Tit­ter­ing­ton, Tanya House, Su­san Reynolds, David Nor­man, Kevin Poyner and David Larkin have con­vened the meet­ing.

They pro­pose shift­ing the skate park and skat­ing in­fra­struc­ture – which Indigo coun­cil is plan­ning to re­de­velop at a cost of $255,000 – to make the most of Stone Bridge Park and its her­itage­listed 1857 stone bridge over Com­mis­sioner’s creek.

They be­lieve the park pro­vides the only pub­licly-ac­ces­si­ble vis­tas and con­tex­tual set­ting of the single arch, gran­ite-walled bridge.

“The park was the site of some of the ear­li­est gold rush ac­tiv­i­ties from late 1852, it is cen­tral to and links some of the most sig­nif­i­cant sites of Yackan­dan­dah’s gold rush his­tory and town ori­gins and is lo­cated just at the end of the High Street,” the group has writ­ten.

“Most towns would give any­thing to have a green and cool creek­side park ad­ja­cent their main street over­look­ing the old­est bridge in use in Vic­to­ria and sur­rounded by her­itage as­sets and sites – a beau­ti­ful spot for so­cial gath­er­ings, com­mu­nity events, pic­nics, wed­dings or just re­lax­ing be­side Com­mis­sioner’s Creek.

“Stone Bridge Park should be one of the jew­els of Yackan­dan­dah and it is time to re­claim the park’s his­toric, ar­chi­tec­tural, aes­thetic, amenity, so­cial and eco­nomic val­ues for the ben­e­fit of the wider com­mu­nity.”

Mr Poyner said the com­mu­nity and its young peo­ple wanted a skate park but the group be­lieved Isaacs Park would be a bet­ter op­tion.

“For­tu­itously, Indigo Shire Coun­cil has been suc­cess­ful in ob­tain­ing a $100,000 grant, matched by $155,000 in ratepay­ers’ funds, to con­struct pur­pose-built skate fa­cil­i­ties in Yackan­dan­dah,” the group wrote.

“This rep­re­sents a not-to-be-missed op­por­tu­nity to spend our ratepayer monies twice – to re­claim Stone Bridge Park for the wider com­mu­nity and to fi­nally have skate fa­cil­i­ties that are not a stop-gap mea­sure and in a more ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion.”

Mayor Jenny O’Con­nor, who can­not at­tend the meet­ing be­cause of another en­gage­ment, said the skate park had been in Stone Bridge Park for more than 15 years.

“We did a lot of con­sul­ta­tion early on with the town and, most im­por­tantly, the kids who use it had a lot of in­put and into the de­sign,” she said.

“Th­ese kids are part of our com­mu­nity and we want them to know that they are val­ued and sup­ported.

“There are also se­cu­rity as­pects. Suc­cess­ful skate parks are lo­cated in highly-vis­i­ble ar­eas close to town cen­tres.

“The lo­cal po­lice also rec­om­mended that it re­main where it is.”

Tonight’s court house meet­ing will open at 7.30pm.

VISTA: Some Yackan­dan­dah res­i­dents want Stone Bridge Park to be avail­able for use by all in the com­mu­nity.

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