Bundaberg skate park gets the okay

YOUNGSTERS will get their long-awaited skate bowl, after Bundaberg Regional Council finally approved the controversial facility for the Innes Park Reserve yesterday.

Plans for the skate bowl first surfaced in 2006, but had been dogged by debate from supporters and detractors.

Councillors yesterday discussed the possibility of further community consultation, but in the end decided to go ahead with a skate bowl in the “teenage space” of the Innes Park Recreation Reserve Management Plan.

Councillor Mary Wilkinson said the full $100,000, half from the council and half from a state government sport and recreation grant, would go towards the skating facility.

Cr Wilkinson said further community consultation would “only delay the process,” and the skate bowl would be along the lines of the $100,000 skate bowl park built at Burnett Heads a few years ago.

“It’s not like we’re starting from scratch,” she said.

“It’s gone through and will go to the relevant departments.”

She said a better idea of the plans would be available at the beginning of next year.

Innes Park siblings Trent, 14, and Scott Heaton, 12, were celebrating the decision, and said they would soon have somewhere safe to learn new tricks.

“It’s great,” Scott said.

“We’ve wanted it for a while.”

The Heaton brothers were so keen on the skate bowl, they were among a gathering of children and teenagers to protest plans in the draft Innes Park plan in October.

Former Burnett Shire councillor Rae Suosaari has been a passionate advocate of the skate park and said children of all ages would use the facility.

“The skate bowl will be great for the youth to expend their energy in a safe environment rather than on our busy roads,” she said.

“I hope it can be constructed as quickly as possible. This bowl has been a long time coming.

“Council has had enough time to prepare and should be ready to commence immediately.”

Mrs Suosaari said the skate bowl was originally requested in 2006, and said she believed if children were given ownership of a facility from an early stage, they would take responsibility not only of the facility, but the surrounding environment as well.

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