Luciana Park is new youth hub

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
World champion bowl skater Poppy Starr Olsen at Bunbury Skatepark.
Camera IconWorld champion bowl skater Poppy Starr Olsen at Bunbury Skatepark. Credit: South Western Times

Luciana Park has been supported as the preferred location for Bunbury’s long-awaited Youth Precinct, which could include a new skatepark, parkour course and basketball court.

At its meeting on Tuesday, Bunbury City Council voted in favour of the prime CBD land located opposite Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre for the youth designated area.

The unanimous vote came despite Mayor Gary Brennan last week hinting that the matter would face some debate, saying he hoped a council of the future would use the site for a significant statement for visitors into the city.

But Youth Mayor Sean Smith put forward a passionate deputation to the council this week when he said the site was the “perfect” location.

Mr Smith told the council that while the design of the precinct and what it would include was yet to be determined, he was confident it would make a strong statement.

“As an entrance to our city over the Koombana Drive bridge, what a statement that would make to visitors and locals — that Bunbury embraces and celebrates its young people, gives a space for them to grow and prosper as young people in the city’s present and future,” Mr Smith said.

“Encouraging more young people and families to embrace Bunbury as a place they can grow and be contributors to the Bunbury community should be one of council’s highest priorities, in my opinion.”

While the design of the youth precinct is being described as a “blank canvas” until further community consultation, Mr Smith said potential elements included the skatepark and barbecue and family facilities.

The decision follows a lengthy campaign by community group Bunbury Needs a New Skatepark and a $50,000 contribution from the council to investigate options.

With Mr Brennan on approved leave of absence until next month, the vote saw all 11 councillors in favour of the location. Councillors who spoke on the item on Tuesday night described the precinct as “a long time coming”.

“I think this is very important to get through and get on with the job of being able to deliver this as soon as we can,” Cr James Hayward said.

The decision will be put out for public comment for at least 30 days in which a name for the precinct will also be considered and the Youth Advisory Council Committee will help steer the project.

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