It seems that Australia’s Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull is somewhat distracted from running our country at the moment. In a letter sent to Sydney’s Woollahra Council on Sunday, Turnbull took the time to criticise the plans for a proposed new skatepark for Rushcutters Bay Park, located just three kilometers east of the Sydney CBD.
“Adding hard surfaces and concrete structures is not sympathetic to how the park is currently used by its visitors,” Mr Turnbull wrote as the Member for Wentworth.
“These facilities also raise noise concerns for local residents that neighbour the park. Furthermore, there is an exceptional skatepark in Bondi Beach that is available to everyone in the eastern suburbs,” he added.
Anyone who knows a thing or two about Sydney skateboarding is well aware of how overdue the city is for a skatepark somewhere near the CBD. They would also know of the long, uphill battle the Sydney Skateboard Association had to sway the City Council into finally saying “yes” to build a skate facility back in January 2014.
They could also appreciate how awful Bondi skatepark is (it’s shaped like a fish for fuck’s sake) and that it is actually 30 minutes away from Rushcutters Bay.
An early design concept for the skate facility at Rushcutters Bay Park.
Alex Higgins-Titsha, who has spent four years researching the best location and campaigning for this facility, said the park catered for most age groups and dogs, but not teenagers.
“I feel like [Mr Turnbull] is mocking our ideas without understanding us,” he said, adding, “The location is not used by the public.”
Rushcutters Bay’s vast open park is over 5.3 hectares. The proposed skate facility would occupy less than two per cent of the space – occupying a largely unused narrow strip of land between the canal, outdoor exercise area and existing sports field.
Why is Australia’s Prime Minister – a man with bigger fish to fry – chiming in on a new skatepark development in Sydney? Surely the sound of skateboarders enjoying the space couldn’t reach him at his Point Piper mansion. Perhaps he’s looking out for his wealthy buddies who reside in proximity to the park.
To have your say for this much-needed skatepark, please email Woollahra Council showing your support for the construction of a skate facility in Rushcutters Bay Park.
Include the following email addresses: