Skate park upset
Yackandandah group wants planned park moved
INDIGO mayor Jenny O’Connor will meet with the Yackandandah community later this month to enable people to see designs and put views about what has become a contentious plan to redevelop the town’s skate park.
Residents concerned about a $255,000 project to refurbish the existing skate park in Stone Bridge Park convened their own meeting in Yackandandah’s former courthouse earlier last month.
The gathering, hosted by Kevin Poyner, Tanya House, Paul Titterington, David Norman, Susan Reynolds and David Larkin, attracted almost 100 people.
Mr Poyner did not think the community had been widely canvassed about the proposed redevelopment of the skate park by Indigo Shire Council, although some residents and young users of the park had been involved earlier in the process.
“Councillors were invited to hear what this meeting had to say,” Mr Poyner said – but Cr O’Connor had been unable to attend because of another engagement.
The council is proposing to use a Victorian government grant of $100,000 and rate- payers’ funds of $155,000 to meet the costs of the redevelopment.
But there is concern that Stone Bridge Park – with its view of the single arch bridge spanning Commissioner’s Creek – should remain available as civic space.
Mr Poyner said the group which convened last month’s meeting was not opposed to the skate park, but preferred that it be sited in Isaacs Park.
“Infrastructure already exists in Isaacs Park, with amenities such as shelters and toilets that are not available at (Stone Bridge Park),” Mr Poyner said.
Some residents were also concerned about the redevelopment at what is a place significant for its colonial-era gold rush heritage.
“With a shift of the skate park we can improve and beautify a neglected area (in Stone Bridge Park) that has a lovely ambience for the benefit of the community and tourists,” Mr Poyner said.
Indigo Yackandandah councillor James Trenery, who had been involved in scoping the skate park redevelopment, spoke about the consultation process to date.
“We’ve come to a point where it can be done, and now alternatives have been proposed,” he told the courthouse meeting.
He said it was good to come together to discuss concerns.
But he said a proposal to move the skate park would add to the project’s cost and delay it.
Baranduda’s Nick Hazeleger, who worked in Yackandandah and advocated for skateboard riders at the meeting, said he was surprised that further lines of enquiry were being explored after a consultation process which started three years ago.
“A lot of work has been put into the project,” he said.
Mr Hazeleger said the community’s children remained important participants in any decisionmaking process. “It’s a shame that the development could be held up due to these new lines of enquiry at such a late stage,” he said.
A show of hands at the courthouse meeting indicated that more than half of those present supported relocation and that an approach should be made to the council to work on the matter.
Councillors Barb Murdoch and Dianne Shepheard attended the meeting.
CONCERNED: Yackandandah’s John Bradly (left) and Kevin Poyner with some of the town’s skateboard riders Travis Olden, Etham Gray, Niam Elliott, Bobby Jones-Davies, Caleb Elliott and Reggie Pendergast at last month’s meeting about the town’s skateboard park location.