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New skatepark a possibility

Equipment at the Biloela Skate Park is in dire disrepair causing serious safety concerns for children.
Equipment at the Biloela Skate Park is in dire disrepair causing serious safety concerns for children. Vanessa Jarrett

A FUNDING application has been put forward to replace the Biloela Skate Park.

Banana Shire Council has received a number of complaints since early 2016 on the conditions of the skate park.

The grounds have suffered major damage with severely cracked and deteriorated concrete and exposed reinforcement in some areas.

Council officers undertook a safety inspection in December 2016 and recommended the skate park be closed, however Council investigated the ramifications of closing the park for an indefinite amount of time and decided that closing the site would be unworkable.

Council looked into repairing this site initially and were advised by the contractor the equipment could not be repaired as is.

A new design for the skate park has been commissioned by Skate Parks Australia Pty Ltd.

The new design features two separate areas, one for older children and another for younger children.

The design includes a series of quarter pipes, jump ramps, corners, wedges, humps, centre box, spine and a grind rail

The estimated cost of the design is $75,000 + GST and delivery and $60,000 plus GST for the slab.

Banana Shire Council will put in application to the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing for the Get Playing Funding for $150,000.

Chris Vasiliadis from Jim's Cycles said a new skate park would be on a lot of local children's bucket lists.

"This is long overdue, it is really the only thing for kids here,” Chris said.

"It will be money well spent.”

Selling scooters, bikes and skateboards out of his Biloela store, Chris saw many local children come in.

"I see 90% of them in here,” he said.

"I know a lot of the kids are saying they want it expanded and it's all the same.

"They are bored of it I guess after how long it has been.”

When Chris saw photos of the skate park's condition, he was shocked to see the disrepair.

"I haven't been up there for years, I didn't realise it had gotten so bad,” he said.

Chris said the skate park was important for the children and the consequences would be severe if it was shut down.

"We don't have a ten pin bowling centre or movies here for them,” he said.

"There would be nothing for them to do; they would only hanging around down town getting up to no good.”

Chris had a look at the new design plans and gave it his stamp of approval.

"They would like to see some shade and some water foundations as well,” Chris said. "It's a great idea, bring it on.”

Father of two, Steve Bates was also shocked to see the state of the skate park.

Steve's 10 and 12 year old children regularly use the skate park.

"It is a little dilapidated and that due to it being used so much,” Steve said.

"They are up there a couple of times a week and through the school holidays they are there every day.”

Steve said the skate park was important to any community.

"I think it is an essential component of any small town,” he said.

"In this day and age, with obesity and technology taking over, anything to keep the kids outside needs to have money spent on it and looked after.”

Steve's son, Reilly said he loved going to the skate park but hadn't been going as much because of the disrepair.

"I haven't been going lately because I am always falling over from the cracks,” he said.

"I went down a ramp and my wheel got caught in a groove and I fell over.”

Reilly said he hoped the new design would go ahead.

"It will be a lot better and it will have more variety.”

Banana Shire Council has advised the applications for the funding will close in August.

Should Council be successful they will be advised by mid-October with work to start in November.

Topics:  banana shire get playing places and spaces program local sport skate park


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