15-year batle for kids’ skatepark
15-year battle for Plateau site rages on
YOUNG kids in Alstonville said having an established skatepark would be “the single greatest thing”.
But members of Wollongbar Alstonville Skate Park (WASP) say after having “more than 30 sites knocked back on the Plateau over the last 15 years” they wonder if a skatepark will ever be built on the Alstonville plateau.
Community members calling for a skatepark held a free ‘demountable’ skate clinic on Saturday to raise awareness “about this cycle (they) want to end,” WASP spokeswoman Bianca Urbina said.
“The children of Alstonville and Wollongbar who have been waiting since 2012 when a report was first put to council with possible sites,” she said.
“In the last three years of this very long story here on the plateau, we had a site approved in 2016.
“It was ready to go but a group in the community opposed it because they labelled skateboarders as delinquents and deviants.”
On Thursday August 23 this year, Ballina Shire Council refused the DA for the Wollongbar Sports Field site.
Ms Urbina said meanwhile children and young people paid the price. “They have nowhere else to skate except the streets and carparks where they get abused by drivers,” she said.
“To make matters worse this is seen as a nuisance and a even a criminal issue with police calling parents to collect their children.
Alstonville resident James Coony said it was “frustrating” there wasn’t a skatepark for his son and other kids to enjoy.
“The kids are just trying to have some fun and skateboard and they get painted with the same brush as some of the youth crime that happened over the last year.”
Ballina Mayor David Wright attended the event and said council resolved to chase another location when they refused the sporting field site.
“We are talking with Wollongbar TAFE to get a lease so we can get a place on the site.”
SKATING DEMONSTRATION: Kids, their parents and other skate-loving adults participated in a skate session on Saturday, attending by Ballina mayor Cr David Wright.
Wollongbar Alstonville Skate Park (WASP) members calling for a skate park on the Alstonville Plateau.