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Grassroots support for ‘spectacular’ park

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Wendy and Jon Dixon are spearheading a campaign to get a skate park in Bunbury.
Camera IconWendy and Jon Dixon are spearheading a campaign to get a skate park in Bunbury. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

A group campaigning for a “destination park” which would include a waterpark and an improved skatepark in Bunbury is ramping up its efforts.

Members of the Bunbury Needs a New Skatepark group claim the existing park for skateboarders in the city is not good enough and is calling on Bunbury City Council to make an “everyone’s park” a priority.

The group is spearheaded by husband and wife team Jon and Wendy Dixon, who have this week started a petition to take to the council in an effort to get a park on the agenda.

While a skatepark is a focus in the group’s campaign, Mr Dixon said the “dream” was more than just an area for the skateboard community.

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“It’s more than just a skatepark, we’re thinking slides, a water playground, parkour, rock climbing, basketball courts – we want an everyone’s park,” Mr Dixon said.

“It will be for everyone, ages two to 102 – and it has to be the best one outside of the Perth area.”

Mr Dixon said it would be something “pretty spectacular” which would “drag” people into the CBD.

The group has been encouraged by the results of an online survey.

Mrs Dixon said the feedback from the surveys proved the community wanted the park.

“One of the overwhelming things we’ve heard is the current skatepark is ‘fair’ at best,” Mrs Dixon said.

Of the nearly 130 surveys completed 41 per cent said the existing skatepark was ‘fair’ while 43 per cent voted it “poor” – other options were excellent, very good or good.

“Quite a few said ‘please don’t improve the existing one, build a new one,” Mrs Dixon said.

Some Bunbury councillors and Youth Advisory Council members have backed the plans.

Mayor Gary Brennan said the group needed to demonstrate wide community support and details of costing and funding sources would need to be considered for the plan to be considered.

He said no funding for a new skate park was included in the city’s long term financial plan and the existing park was upgraded in 2012 and a park in Glen Iris was constructed in 2013.

“The city has hosted numerous events at the Queens Gardens skate park in the 2016-17 financial year and feedback has been positive,” Mr Brennan said.

“The same applies to the Glen Iris skate park.

“There are skate parks in neighbouring local government areas.

“Essentially skate parks and other forms of active and passive recreation facilities must be located near to those residential areas where the bulk of users live.”

He said city officers would be meeting with the group to discuss its plans.

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