SKATING IN TO GET WORK GOING ON YOUTH HUB
FEDERAL Minister for Regional Developent Senator Fiona Nash (left) and local federal member Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) tried their hand at skateboarding in town on Monday, to mark the commencement of works on the new Mansfield Youth Hub. Senator Nash had the priviliege of turning the first sod of dirt, and the federal politicians drew an enthusiastic crowd, which included Charlotte and Keegan Carman.
FEDERAL Minister for Regional Development, Senator Fiona Nash, turned the first sod of ground on Monday to commence construction on Mansfield’s Youth Hub, watched on by a large contingent of guests and regular skatepark users.
Among the guests on site at the Mansfield Recreation Reserve were Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) and representatives of various community groups associated with the development of the hub.
Senator Nash said the government had provided $200,000 from its National Stronger Regional Fund for the project.
“One of the wonderful things about being in my role is seeing things grow and seeing things develop in regional towns, particularly small communities that have such incredible heart and have so much time and energy which has gone into devleoping projects such as this,” she said.
“It should be very exciting when this is finished and I would love to come back.”
Ms McGowan congratulated the Mansfield communit in taking the next step towards the development of its Youth Hub and Skate Park.
“Young people are a priority in Indi and this project really caters for the needs of these important members of our community,” she said.
“I’m proud Mansfield is providing quality services for its young people.
“A good skate park demonstrates that the community is invested in its youth and encourages an active lifestyle.”
The project has been led by the Skate Park Action Group and developed in partnership with Mansfield Shire Council and Sport and Recreation Victoria.
It will result in the construction of a Youth Hub and civil works including the relocation of car parking and the entrance to the recreation reserve.
The imprint of the current skate park will be doubled and upgraded.
The total project is valued at $490,000.
Its funding includes $100,000 from Mansfield Shire, $200,000 in Commonwealth funding, $100,000 from Sport and Recreation Victoria, $32,000 from the Department of Health (for a shade sail) and $60,000 to $70,000 for community donations.
“It’s important for local government to support its young people and it’s great to see so many stakeholders investing as well,” Ms McGowan said.
“Delivering for Indi means everyone working together – local, state and federal governments working with the community.
“When everyone works together in Indi we get these significant projects that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.”
Mansfield Shire Mayor, Cr Paul Sladdin, said the project has been some four years in progressing through Mansfield Shire Council’s consultative period and design requirements.
It started when a young skateboarder, Harry Green, ap- proached council saying the park, in what was then its format, was no longer suitable.
“Since then early improvements have been made with rails and flow changes upgrading the facility but not to competition standards,” Cr Sladdin said.
“These improvements have been totally funded through fundraising efforts by the young people and the Skatepark Action Group.”
Shire chief executive officer Alex Green said council and a number of dedicated community members have been planning this project since 2012 and were excited to see this project come to fruition.
“While there will be some short term inconvenience, this project will have many ongoing benefits for our community and we would like to thank all those affected for their patience during the construction,” he said.
Today, existing elements within the skate park will be craned out and construction of a temporary entrance into the reserve will commence.
Skate park construction specialists, Precision Skate Parks, who hae been awarded the contract for construction, will then occupy the site from September 26.
Mr Green said the new entrance to the Reserve will be fully completed at the conclusion of the Youth Hub build to avoid any possible damage by heavy machinery.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by mid to late December.
While under construction the Youth Hub site will be closed to the public.
Pedestrian access to all other facilities within the Mansfield Recreation Reserve will not be impacted by the construction works.
Vehicle access into the eastern side of the reserve will be restricted throughout the construction period.
For more information on the Mansfield Youth Hub construction, please contact Sport and Recreation officer Dan Purcell on 5775 8555.
THREE CHEERS: A large gathering of interested locals joined shire mayor Paul Sladdin (third from left), Senator Fiona Nash (with shovel), shire CEO Alex Green (at rear) and Indi federal member Cathy McGowan (second from right) for the turning of the...