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May 31, 2023

Who wouldn’t want a Byron Bay skate park?

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Zac Pitter of Freeman Skate Decks, Cr Paul Spooner, David Krippner from Young Labor, Nathan Fryer, Byron High skate coach and skater, Nathan Curran. Photo Jeff Dawson
Zac Pitter of Freeman Skate Decks, Cr Paul Spooner, David Krippner from Young Labor, Nathan Fryer, Byron High skate coach and skater, Nathan Curran. Photo Jeff Dawson

A campaign by the local Byron Labor branch to build a skate park in Byron Bay is underway after Cr Paul Spooner (Country Labor) resurrected the idea at last Thursday’s council meeting.

Cr Spooner told the chamber he discovered the 20-year-old plan buried in a long list of council motions  unresolved by staff.

Greens mayor Simon Richardson also got involved in formulating the motion, suggesting that funding be attached to the request.

Other items to be given ‘high priority’ for funding by Council include updating the bikeways plan and the development of a shirewide transport plan.

Cr Spooner later said, ‘For too long, local young people have not had access to a quality facility. The closest skate park is located in Suffolk Park, and is considered by many to be well below average.’

The campaign was instigated by David Krippner, Cr Spooner said, who is a local young person and Labor member. David said, ‘Many of the young people I know in town would love a skate park. It would provide a focal point for the community, with opportunities for community activities, murals and events.’

Cr Spooner said, ‘Properly funded, a skate park would not only be used for skating, but could be designed in a way that it is a piece of artwork for the community. This idea fits in perfectly with the Byron Bay masterplan – adopted by Council – and should be given a high priority’.

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  1. Amazing. Labor gets things done in Byron. The Greens…. Hmmm.. I know, BIG rate increases and general tut tutting over anything that creates a community. Well done Paul and David.

      • True. Spare a thought for the poor Greens. What will their photo op be? How about irate Byron ratepayers opening their rate notices! I would pay money towards the Green Council deficit just to see that one..

  2. Id like to see a list of all things we NEED done in Byron shire. The list would be sorted in priority order and published for public feedback to make sure priority is determined by ratepayers. There would be a nice to have section. Then next to each item there would be legitimate cost estimate and next to that the budget we already have, even if that budget $ is currently zero. Transparency is key. How can any councillor be pushing for expenditure without first having the big picture and transparency across all the numbers?

  3. Where is this new skatepark meant to go? There are already two skateparks in Byron, the Suffolk Park one, and then there is the crumbling tiny skate-bowl in the Sandhills parklands, adjacent to the Byron Youth Activities Centre. Why reinvent the wheel, when Paul Spooner himself says that the Suffolk skatepark is inadequate, and as for the one near the YAC, it is 20 years overdue for an overhaul or ANY maintenance and it would be the obvious spot for an upgraded skatepark and family area. Let’s just fix up the two we already have and make them into something that will attract local kids, do the lighting around Sandhills parklands too, as it is way, way overdue to be replaced too, with those lights over the path consistently either not working, or overheating within mins of being on and shutting down for half an hour at a time. While we are at it, how about investing some real money into night time youth programs to keep Byron kids off the streets at night and give them activities they’d actually engage in. And hey, while we are at it, how about we build something like a skating rink, or a ten pin bowling alley or an actual entertainment centre catering for young people. We can throw millions into tourism in this town, but it seems that the youth of Byron have been almost completely forgotten for generations! The YAC has sat there for years and years with barely any outside-of-business-hours activities, maybe it’s time someone invested in funding programs actually designed by young people for young people. Everyone knows we have an issue with our local youth having nothing to do at night except to hang in the parks and on the beach, drinking due to boredom. How about giving them something to do? Would this skatepark be able to be accessed and used at night? Or would it just become another place for local youth to hang in the dark and drink? We need to make Byron youth a priority, but we need to actually ask them what they need, what they would want and what would change their behaviours when it comes to the drinking and drug culture they are so entrenched in here, due to them having been ignored and forgotten for so long.


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