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February 25, 2019
Culture

The State Government is funding a new skate park for the city

Wow. Just wow.

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  • Words: Joshua Fanning

Steven Marshall’s government has gone and funded a new city skate park, ponying up $3 million, while the City of Adelaide has granted the land required.

The press release took pains to point out the previous Labor Government’s role in demolishing the old city skate park with “absolutely no plans to build a replacement,” the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Stephen Knoll is quoted.

He’s not wrong.

Labor had a further five years in government in which to fund a new skate facility commensurate with the one they removed from North Terrace in 2015. Labor did not have the political will to proceed.

The new Adelaide skate park will be integrated into Narnungga Gladys Elphick Park (AKA Park 25) on West Terrace and be ready to go by 2020.

CityMag has an ongoing and vested interest in the development of a world-class skate facility for the city of Adelaide.

Immediately upon receiving the news, we shared the plans with former head of South Australian Skate Space Association, Allan Mawer, who was instrumental in early efforts to relocate the city skate park and help city leaders reconsider what a skate park can be.

“It’s news to me,” says Allan over the phone. He’d heard of the West Terrace location but had not been involved in any broader consultation.

“Looking at these renders, it doesn’t really look like a skater designed it. But the overhead view with the trees integrated and everything looks good,” he says.

Weighing up the relative pros and cons of the location, Allan, who owns and runs skate store Twenty Fifty Two on Hindley Street, reflects that today’s announcement is overwhelmingly positive for the city.

Member for Adelaide, Rachel Sanderson says the new skate park was something her constituents were active in asking for.

“This is great news for both the residents of Adelaide and young people who will finally have a new, dedicated safe place to skate,” she said

“A new City Skate Park has been a long time coming and it’s been an issue that has constantly been raised by my constituents and CBD businesses.”

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor has said that “Building a permanent replacement has taken far too long. Council has strongly and consistently lobbied the State Government for a new facility since the closure of the North Terrace skate park in 2015,” and what’s more, the Lord Mayor has opened the door to consultation with future users of the park.

“I look forward to working with the local skate and BMX communities, as well as other stakeholders, to ensure that this facility is accessible, inclusive and enjoyable,” she said.

Certainly this is good news on a Monday.

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