Corowa Skate Park committee upset with possibility of relocation by Federation Council

A LAST ditch bid to halt a car wash being built next door to the Corowa skate park has been mounted.

TAKING A STAND: Corowa skate park committee member Ellen Lewis has vowed to fight plans to relocate the facility. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

TAKING A STAND: Corowa skate park committee member Ellen Lewis has vowed to fight plans to relocate the facility. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

The committee responsible for the community facility developed over three decades claimed it has been blindsided about the full impact on the skate park and adjoining BMX track being located near the car wash which was approved by Federation Council last October.

Committee member Ellen Lewis said an option to relocate the park had never been raised and the recent appointment of a consultant to prepare plans for the skate park is further fueling concerns about council’s exact intentions.

Deputy mayor Shaun Whitechurch declared a conflict of interest as his boss Jamie Webb was one of the proponents.

Mrs Lewis said a formal complaint would be lodged about the car wash, which would be separated from the skate park by a four metre wall, with meetings with neighbours and skate park users planned for Thursday.

The deadline to submit a rescission motion has passed.

“You can’t just lock kids behind a wall,” Mrs Lewis said.

“It’s our belief it was council’s intention all along to shift the skate park and any information relating to this was withheld from the committee, the community and most importantly the neighbouring residents.

“We will never get an equivalent facility built in Corowa.”

She doubts councillors elected last September were fully briefed on the full implications of the car wash development application before voting last year.

Mrs Lewis said a face-to-face meeting with the Queensland-based consultant last week confirmed other sites for the skate park were being investigated.

Last year the skate park secured $333,000 from council and interim general Adrian Butler confirmed relocation was an option to be examined by the consultants.

“Whilst the recent car wash approval near the current site is an important consideration, there are also other site constraints that need consideration and broader consultation is needed,” he said.

“Council understands the skate park committee representatives have strong concerns about their lack of detailed involvement in the early phases of this project inception.

“But council has committed to ensure they are a primary stakeholder group going forward with the design and consultation.

“It is imperative that council looks at a range of factors when planning a community project such as this, including suitability comparisons on possible sites.

“Throughout the consultation process council will be engaging with the community to source feedback on design options, current location, future and current trends and current user and stakeholder groups.”

The skate park committee also met with Mr Butler, mayor Pat Bourke, Cr Gail Law, Cr Fred Longmire and Cr David Longley last week.

Cr Law and Cr Longmire voted against the car wash development application last year.