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Venus Bay debates skate park site

THE Venus Bay community is split over the proposed location of a new skate park for the town.

South Gippsland Shire Council is now advertising its intention to erect the skate park on the corner of Jupiter Boulevard and Centre Road, opposite the town’s shops.

Supporters say that location is public, ensuring the skate park is easy to find and does not attract unsavoury activity.

But opponents say the site was bought by council with the intention of creating additional car parking to ease congestion during the summer holidays when the town’s population swells to approximately 7000 people.

They want the skate park built behind Jupiter Park, in Jupiter Boulevard.

Opponents have initiated a petition calling on council not to build the skate park at the proposed site and retain it for parking.

The existing skate park is behind Venus Bay Community Centre, and is out of sight and outdated.

The new skate park will be a street style park with ramps and a flat section, catering for skate, BMX, scooter and blades enthusiasts.

Council has allocated $125,000 to the project, which was identified by the community as a priority for Venus Bay.

The site was proposed by the majority of people at a meeting in August 2017.

Leading the lobby for the proposed location is Sam Ennis, owner of Edge of the Earth Hair and Surf, which hires skateboards and scooters. He said he has a vested interest in the skate park going ahead where proposed, but believed it would benefit the community.

“I feel it’s a fantastic location purely for safety and convenience because it is close to the shops and the toilets are 100m away,” he said.

“It keeps the park in the public eye which is smart because the crowd that skate parks can attract out of the public eye really is not kid friendly.”

Mr Ennis believed there was adequate space on the site for a skate park and car park of a size that would double the existing parking available.

“I don’t want this block sitting here eight months of the year as a car park and not being used,” he said.

Tom Turner’s family runs Agapi Fish and Chips and Venus Loves Gelato, and back the proposed location.

“There are not a lot of things for young people to do in winter. The skate park would be used more than the car park during the rest of the year,” he said.

Doug Don initiated a petition objecting to the proposed location. He said Jupiter Park was more suitable given it has public toilets, a playground, barbecue and ample space.

Felicity Kaye has a holiday house next to the proposed site and is concerned about her family’s privacy if the skate park is built. She is concerned the skate park will lead to smoking, alcohol and drug problems.

Resident Yasmin Hadfield said the intersection of Jupiter Boulevard and Centre Road was one of the busiest in town.

Former South Gippsland Shire councillor Kieran Kennedy said the previous council bought the site in 2016 to open for parking from the first weekend in October until Easter.

“We have 2300 blocks, 1700 houses and 38 car parks in Venus Bay,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Sandy Point has 750 blocks and 150 car parks. This is really a slap in the face to build the skate park here.”

Venus Bay General Store owner Neil Williams suggested council buy land at the entrance to Venus Bay to create a recreation precinct including a skate park.

Council will receive public submissions until it makes a decision and encourages people to make a submission as soon as possible for issues raised to be considered.

The petition against the location can be signed online at: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/South_Gippsland_Council_No_Skate_Park_on_Land_Bought_for_PARKING

Build it here: supporting the construction of a skate park at the corner of Jupiter Boulevard and Centre Road, Venus Bay are, from left, Venus Bay’s Rod Hard, Freddie Turner, Tom Turner, Sam Ennis and Mitchell Buller.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23687

Posted by on Jan 9 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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