FREO’S CONTROVERSIAL SKATE PARK PLANS
The debate about the proposed Esplanade skate park in Fremantle council on Wednesday and in the wider community is an interesting one as it has got many aspects to consider.
There are people like FICRA passionate about keeping the mound while others like Councillor Andrew Sullivan argue that the mound does not have to stay in the exact location and could be replicated and incorporated in the skate park, or Youth Plaza as Andrew prefers to call it. I agree with him that if we can get a better design by removing the mound from its present location we should do so, as long as we create a mound, or multiple mounds, within the park. Skate ramps need dips and height so I see no reason why they can’t become mounds as well.
Then there is former councillor John Dowson‘s argument that a skate park has no place on a A Class Reserve and that we should protect the few grassed areas we have in the inner city and not build concrete skate ramps on them. John believes the adjacent car park near the Italian Club is a better spot and it is hard to argue against wanting to keep the grassed areas in the city, especially with so many Greens on council. Maybe they shouldn’t promote roof and wall gardens when they want to diminish the grassed ground level areas of the city.
I previously mentioned that a skate park might impact on future festivals on the Esplanade as it will take a decent chunk of 250 square metres off it. That also needs to be considered carefully.
Young people need to be catered for better in Fremantle. They need to be able to do the things they enjoy without being pushed to remote parks on the edges of the city. Youth is as much party to our community as the elderly and as a community we have a responsibility to accommodate everyone. I believe that we can come up with a perfect solution after respectful debate and community consultation, so let’s give it a go.