Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 1st 2017 Contents PAGE 4 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2017
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Skate strategy feedback requested
IN COLLABORATION with the community,
the draft Bass Coast Skate Strategy 2017 has
been prepared and Bass Coast Shire Council is
seeking feedback on the key recommendations.
The strategy aims to provide inclusive, safe,
multifunctional skate spaces for all commu-
nity users and promote social connections and
opportunities for physical activity, says Bass
Coast mayor Cr Pam Rothfield.
The draft strategy has been developed fol-
lowing extensive community consultation and
research which included advice from a com-
munity based steering group, and three public
workshops held across the shire and an online
The draft strategy provides a long term vi-
sion for skate facilities in Bass Coast, which
includes short, medium and long term actions.
Recommendations outlined in the Strategy
• a new regional skate park in the San Remo/
• redevelopment of the local level facility at
• a new local facility in Kilcunda
• permanent skate features at Grantville and
• upgrades to both Inverloch and Wonthaggi
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, ex-
plained what the draft strategy means for local
skaters and enthusiasts.
“Skating in the context of this draft strategy
refers to all wheeled sports: skateboarding,
scooters, rollerblading, roller skating, BMX rid-
ing and more.
“It includes a range of recreation options
which will be relevant to many people in our
community. The draft strategy recommenda-
tions and actions will provide the community
with a tangible and solid framework for skate
activity into the future, and it’s important that
everyone has a look at the draft strategy and
provides their feedback.”
The draft strategy can be viewed on the coun-
cil’s website at basscoast.vic.gov.au/skate.
Feedback on the draft strategy is open until
midnight on Sunday, November 12, 2017.
Once the strategy is completed, the council
will continue to work with the community and
specialists to determine locations and develop
concept designs for new and upgraded parks.
From the Bass Coast Shire
Multi-million dollar skate
park mooted in San Remo
SAN Remo or Newhaven should get a new $1.2
million regional skate park, according to a recom-
mendation in a long-awaited strategy.
The draft Bass Coast Shire Skate Strategy 2017
released last week – makes a series of recom-
mendations for new facilities across the shire, fol-
lowing community calls for upgrades over the past
The strategy states San Remo or Newhaven
should be a regional hub for a skate park within
the shire, for “all ages, all skill levels”, as well as a
destination for tourists, capable of holding inter-
state competitions and events.
However it does not nominate a location on
which to build the skate park, which would be
about 1000m2, although it states the facility
should be open by 2023.
The strategy recommends the current skate park
in Cowes receive an upgrade of up to $450,000 be-
tween 2018 and 2020, stating the facility – next to
the Cowes football oval – is in poor condition, with
“immediate action required”.
“The poor condition of the facility no longer al-
lows for safe use... and the site is in a poor loca-
tion with obstructed views and limited passive or
natural surveillance creating a space conducive to
antisocial behaviour,” the strategy states.
“It is recommended the facility be demolished
and rebuilt in this location or in an alternative lo-
However, again the strategy does not nominate a
location in Cowes on which to build any new skate
park, with previous suggestions including Mussel
Rocks on the Cowes foreshore.
The strategy also recommends:
• a new local facility in Kilcunda, costing be-
• permanent skate features at Grantville and
• upgrades to both Inverloch and Wonthaggi
Pie in the sky
In 2014 the shire’s Cowes Activity Plan listed
new skate parks as a priority, appointing industry
experts Convic this year to investigate current facil-
ities, distribution of parks and usage projections,
all detailed in this draft strategy, with feedback
open until midnight on Sunday, November 12.
According to the shire the next phase of the
strategy includes further community consultation
on potential locations ad designs.
As part of this process, the shire created a
steering committee of about 20 members includ-
ing YMCA, youth workers, business owners, and
Steering committee member David Hamer, bet-
ter known locally as Bucky, is president of the 4
Shore Sk8 Park and he said while skateboarders
were pleased the issue was on the council’s radar,
progress was slow.
“The shire has done what they deem to be neces-
sary to get skate parks happening with this strat-
egy,” said Bucky, whose group has about 1630
“However, in the skateboard community the at-
titude is we are going backwards, that a lot of time
and money has been invested but we still have
nothing on the ground.
“The biggest disappointment is that this strategy
does not look at the specifics of site locations, the
geology and engineering works required. It’s all
pie in the sky, all up in the air still, with nothing
Bucky said the skateboarding community felt
consultation up to now had been “tokenistic”.
“We have not had significant input into the strat-
egy. They come to us to inform us what’s going on
rather than actually taking on board our opinions.”
He said any regional facility on the foreshore of
San Remo or Newhaven would be limited by land
availability, with a competition-size bowl needing
to be split level and with a deep section as low as
Bucky said given the condition of the current
Cowes skate park – and the fact it was located
in an out-of-the-way area that increased the risk
of anti-social behaviour – he believed a new site
should be found in Cowes for a park.
“Mussel Rocks keeps being mentioned but I
think ultimately the carnival site (on the corner of
Phillip Island Road and Ventnor Road) would be a
good location,” he said.
“It’s already been identified by the shire as a
sporting precinct. It’s a little bit out of town but
still accessible, there would be no limitations to
size and you wouldn’t get any opposition from lo-
cal residents there.
“Whereas premium foreshore land there are
heaps of restrictions and you’d get more opposi-
The shire’s acting manager of community
strengthening Lisa Barham-Lomax would not
comment on the specifics of site location for a
skate park in Cowes.
“Further investigation will take place to select a
site in Cowes,” she said.
“All available sites will be considered and
mapped against the site selection matrix and com-
The strategy outlines criteria for any potential
site, including noise and light to surrounding
“It is important the facility is located to minimise
impact to surrounding residential areas. In gen-
eral, a minimum 50m distance from surrounding
houses should be maintained,” it states.
“Where the main users are below the age of 18, it
is critical to ensure the facility is visually open and
safe and easily accessed in the case of an emer-
Why the need?
There are currently three skate parks and a
mini-ramp in Bass Coast including near the Cowes
football oval, a mini-ramp at Newhaven, as well as
Wonthaggi and Inverloch.
The shire also has a mobile skate ramp, which it
rotates between Newhaven, Corinella, Coronet Bay
While the Newhaven ramp is popular it can only
cater for one user at a time so limits its potential.
The strategy recommends the mobile skate
ramp be decommissioned and replaced with
permanent small skate facilities in Corinella and
The strategy says currently Wonthaggi has the
highest population of youth in the shire, with 21
per cent of the total population.
In Cowes, 15 per cent of the population is in the
5-25 age bracket, compared to 22 per cent in Cape
Woolamai and 12 per cent in San Remo.
By 2036 this age group will make up 13 per cent
of San Remo’s population and in Cowes 19 per
According to the strategy, consultation work-
shops showed a passion for skate facilities within
this age group.
“An overwhelming majority of those who partici-
pated in the process outlined they are not happy
with current skate provision within the region.
Overall, people stressed that new facilities are long
overdue,” it states.
“The passion of the community for skate and
the provision of the skate facilities... is attrib-
uted to a number of reasons such as the social
benefits, increased self-esteem, minimised anti-
social behaviour and the increased social con-
nections with peers whilst being physically ac-
Bucky said the island - and Bass Coast more
broadly - had fallen behind most other Australian
shires in relation to skate park facilities.
“Cowes was made 30 years ago by locals and
kids love it because it’s all they have, but by skate
park standards it’s rubbish,” he said.
“Cowes needs a mid-range skate park and one
that’s not tucked away behind the footy club.”
The draft strategy can be viewed on the council’s
website at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/skate.
David Hamer, better known locally as
Bucky, is president of the 4 Shore Sk8 Park
and said he was disappointed the skate park
strategy now out for public comment doesn’t
suggest specific site locations for a skate
He has described consultation with his
group as “tokenistic” and described the
strategy on exhibition as “pie in the sky”
with nothing definitive.
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