This is not brief, it’s impossible to be brief on this topic of the ‘Regional Skate Park’ planning in Newhaven’s only age-appropriate little playground and open green space at the gateway to our natural attraction at Phillip Island.
We are all for the youth and the proposed Regional Skate Park to entertain the youth of Phillip Island and the surrounding districts and the interstate competitors although many of us do question if we are at full capacity traffic wise and medical wise as we stand struggling on both counts already.
Somewhere less congested off the island perhaps makes more sense to our problematic traffic woes.
We are blessed with endless environmental things to do on the island if you have an imagination way beyond what we believe our kids are entitled to in the form of human-made entertainment.
All the same, a Regional Skate Park in the right spot could be absolutely remarkable; thought out carefully and developed in the ultimate space.
It could be put anywhere in the Bass Coast Shire, it doesn’t have to be squeezed into tiny Newhaven at the gateway to our natural attraction, I couldn’t think of a more blatantly obvious worst spot if I tried.
What we most certainly are not for is the destruction of our ‘green’ space at the Newhaven park.
Let’s think ‘green and environment’ Phillip Island councillors for those who say they are all for addressing these impacts on our island.
Pulling down the climbing and play equipment at the Newhaven park and of course the trees to be replaced by concrete, three metres underground and three metres above ground covering 1300 square metres of the park, with night lighting, endless car parking and with what’s described as ‘natural play’ to smokescreen the obvious, has the majority here cringing.
If you think trees can overhang a skate park then you might be fooled, a gum tree or a cypress will fill it with tripping skater danger within minutes and will be a never ending clean up if you want smooth sailing down a wall of concrete without an injury.
Newly designed ‘natural play’ in the limited space left, that means a few logs to step on, mulch and a few grasses to jump over because not only will we have a concrete park we will lose a huge lump of the green park by a new roundabout at the entrance to the island.
With reference to the heading ‘Empty grass vs a skate park’ at the gateway to the island, that’s a no brainer to most.
What’s wrong with empty grass and space for space sake?
Not every inch of open space has to have something entertaining built on it.
It’s an overdevelopment of our park, not an upgrade of our park, an upgrade would have us all smiling.
Space for space sake is what every township requires in planning and is what makes a township desirable to live in, especially a small town which has already got a lot going on within it.
We are a population of 449 who host quite a lot for the community and visitors, a primary school, a yacht club, a soccer field, a caravan park, tennis courts, a skate ramp, a boat ramp, a wharf restaurant, a backpackers, a hall, an industrial estate and stock standard children’s park that every township has.
Up until recently we also hosted a secondary school for four decades. A lot is crammed in and around the 449 residents.
Cape Woolamai are an estate of homes with some eateries with a population of 2235. It makes sense that a skate park is in a neighbourhood like that as in comparison Newhaven is at full capacity with entertaining opportunities.
It’s offensive to say we don’t think outside ourselves.
Newhaveners who are getting such a hard time at the moment on Facebook about our ‘selfish’ rights to love and to fight for our park have fought the government successfully to keep the Newhaven Primary School in our town for the generations to come and for those children who go there now.
Perhaps those young parents should stop judging us ‘oldies’ for our passion for our park as we have had that same passion for the school that your children attend.
Although we have aged, we have had little children once too who had skateboards and attended the local school that Newhaven still hosts purely by our battle.
What we want is more thought put into this, we will help council find a perfect spot that we can all be proud of as islanders and that will facilitate the apparent crowd the skate park will attract and to facilitate all the vehicles who will be travelling to it.
Develop a skate park where the need is and where the youth population resides and where they can walk to it safely or where traffic won’t bottleneck and where parking will be in abundance. Do not sacrifice a lovely park rich in history that is loved by many in the small township of Newhaven.
Please think longer and harder on this one, find the ultimate space and we will all support it and get on board with the council’s visions for this proposed development whether that’s on the island or off the island.
Whether we sit on the ‘empty green grass’ once a week or once every six months in the Grayden’s Memorial Park in Newhaven is not even significant to whether we need it in our outlook.
Grayden’s Memorial Park was given to the people of Newhaven, and we have a moral obligation to fight for it and we most certainly will.
Min Beaumont, Newhaven.