Kids have a say at protest

AFTER more than a year of heated debate over the future possibility of an Innes Park skate bowl, children and teenagers gathered on Saturday to protest the latest plans in the draft Innes Park Recreation Reserve Management Plan.

Fourteen-year-old Trent Heaton said the hour-long protest was mostly made up of “kids”, and feels it was positive for them to have their say.

“It was alright, most people were supporting me, there's so many kids in the area who want a big skate bowl,” he said, adding that current council plans were for a smaller skate bowl for kids aged five to 13.

“I've already grown out of that age group, and most of my friends have too.”

His brother, 12-year-old Scott Heaton, also said he was happy to have a say, but they did also find opposition.

“It was for if we want a skate bowl - they want to put in a little skate bowl, but we want to put in a big one,” he said.

“A big one will be much better.”

Coral Cove resident Bailey Scott, 11, was given a note about the protest by his friend on the bus.

“We want a big skate bowl, it's safer than riding on the roads,” he said.

“It gets boring on the streets and we have to go to Bargara.

“We did alright; I think they got the message.”

Another Coral Cove resident, 14-year-old Liam Vella, agreed and said it was “hard to get to the skate bowl at Bargara”.

Bundaberg Regional Councillors David Batt and Greg Barnes were also at the 10am protest.

“Everyone agreed something needs to be done for the youth,” Cr Barnes said.

Although he did not think the protest helped the debate, he hoped Innes Park could still work together for a solution.

“It is a very low-scale facility (the draft plan's skate bowl) and older kids would find it boring - it wouldn't be attractive to kids over 13 or 14”, he said.

Cr Barnes said he would urge that any future government proposals would include significant community infrastructure, provided by the developer.

The draft Innes Park Recreation Reserve Management Plan, and an online public poll asking for feedback, can be viewed online at http://bundaberg.qld.gov.au/poll/innes-park-plan.



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