Vote NO to the proposed skatepark in century old Rushcutters Bay Park
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Woollahra Council is reconsidering a controversial proposal to construct a large youth recreational facility in Rushcutters Bay Park. This will involve the construction of a concrete skatepark and basketball court in Rushcutters Bay Park. The budget for the new proposal has increased by around $400,000, with the initial (previously rejected) proposal having a $700,000 budget and the new proposed facility now having an estimated cost of $1,100,000.
Crs Anthony Marano (Liberal) and Matthew Robertson (Greens) put the issue back on the agenda at a recent council meeting, with strong support from the Greens and Residents First parties. Despite being rejected by Council (7 to 1) in May 2017, this proposal is back on the agenda due to new Councillors being elected in September 2017 supporting the construction of the concrete skatepark for their own children. As stated in an Alt Media article published on 21 March 2018: "According to fellow Woollahra Liberal councillor Anthony Marano, also representing Cooper Ward, the decision to re-propose the recreational facility came from a new council made up of quite a few young mothers..."
This proposal, targeted at 8 - 14 year old teenagers, proposes the construction of a concrete "skate park, basketball court and table tennis facility" in century old Rushcutters Bay Park, where activities as diverse as bridal showers, soccer games, tai chi, dog walking, social gatherings and simply relaxing by the harbour currently take place. All of these activities will be displaced by a noisy and aggressive concrete construction in the century-old park. This facility is targeting a tiny demographic representing only 2.7% of the population of the area, most of whom don't even skate. It is estimated in some surveys that as little as 1.7% of all youth are "core skaters" that would actually benefit from access to a skatepark (http://publicskateparkguide.org/vision/who-are-skateboarders/)
Why is this tiny demographic (around 0.04% of the local population) being given a $1 million facility and allowed to destroy a century old park against the wishes of the vast majority of park users (as determined by previous petitions obtained by park users in April 2017)? Why does Woollhara Council not instead contribute to the development of the proposed skatepark planned for Centennial Park, where there is actually space for such a facility? Do the voices of the "silent majority" of local residents not matter to this Council?
Staff are preparing a concept plan to take into account the comments received from the community. As a local resident please make your voice heard. We must save this century old green space from factions within Council only interested in satisfying the demands of a tiny (but vocal) demographic in the area.
Teenagers and their parents are organising a strong social media campaign to give the appearance of strong local community support. Many older local residents will be at a heavy disadvantage making their voices heard as they do not know how to use social media, despite using the park more often and being one of the largest demographic groups in the local area.
For those with access to social media platforms:
Sign the petition to save one of the last precious green spaces in the inner East. #saveRBayPark
Please on all your social media pipes, using the hashtag #saveRBayPark
Complete your signature
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