Bunbury youth precinct on prime block?

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Community group, Bunbury Needs a New Skatepark, has been pushing for a Youth Precinct.
Camera IconCommunity group, Bunbury Needs a New Skatepark, has been pushing for a Youth Precinct. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

A youth precinct located on prime waterfront land in Bunbury’s CBD has attracted widespread support and is expected to get the tick of approval next week.

But if questions raised at a Bunbury City Council briefing session this week are anything to go by, the long-awaited precinct may have a few hurdles to jump yet.

Luciana Park, the foreshore area opposite Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, was endorsed as the preferred location of the precinct in February and has been out for public comment since.

The council received 217 submissions with 80 per cent of those in support of the location.

A total of 44 submissions were received against the location with concerns including the site being “too valuable” and the belief the precinct would be an eyesore at a main entry into the city.

During Tuesday night’s briefing session, Cr Tresslyn Smith said a decision to go ahead with the precinct would “change the look of Bunbury” and questioned how the site fitted in with an overall plan for unused waterfront land across the city.

“Should we wait for an overall plan before we start allocating the remaining waterfront sites?” Cr Smith asked.

It was revealed the council would be considering an “outcomes report” from a number of CBD workshops held last year as part of its next council agenda.

That report focuses on an action plan for key areas in the city with the four key themes of “connectivity, colourful, confident and capable” and includes the Leschenault Inlet waterfront area.

Responding to a question by the South Western Times as to whether the council could defer its decision next week to wait for the report, Mayor Gary Brennan said it was an option.

“We’ll make that call next Tuesday if that’s the way we want to go, but that study in December last year is important for the council to consider,” Mr Brennan said.

He said the concerns raised during the consultation period were “legitimate”.

“That’s along with the submissions supporting it, so our position next week will be clear but again all the submissions will assist our decision making next week,” he said.

A proposed youth precinct has been several years in the making and follows a vocal and passionate campaign by community group, Bunbury Needs a New Skatepark.

While designs and what will be included is yet to be determined – with the council next week to be recommended to endorse the site and start further consultation to come up with a concept design – it is expected to include a skatepark.

Those who spoke in favour of the location said the precinct would be a tourist attraction for the city and the location would allow connectivity to the CBD, using an underutilised and central site.

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