Federal Minister Anthony Albanese at the official opening of the Goonellabah Youth Plaza with Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin (left) and Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell.
Federal Minister Anthony Albanese at the official opening of the Goonellabah Youth Plaza with Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin (left) and Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell. Jay Cronan

Kids get a kick out of new youth plaza

RARELY will you see this many kids turn up to hear a bunch of politicians making speeches - but then it's not every day Goonellabah gets a new dedicated youth facility.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government, Transport and Regional Development Anthony Albanese was in town with most of his caps on to open the new Youth Plaza in Goonellabah.

Joined by Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and a bevy of Lismore counsellors, Mr Albanese negotiated dozens of kids whizzing around on scooters and skateboards demonstrating their skills.

The centre, which also includes a half-basketball court and a performance stage, had been a dream of Cr Dowell's since she was president of the Kadina High Parents and Citizens' Association 10 years ago, when the kids told a council committee a pool and a skate park were needed.

“We delivered the pool, but for financial reasons the skate park dropped off the plans, so the Federal Government was almost like Father Christmas. You can see the kids who are skating today and there's no obesity in that lot,” she said.

The Federal Government contributed $909,000 to the Goonellabah Youth Plaza and the recently-opened Nesbitt Park in South Lismore, while the council kicked in another $231,000.

Mr Albanese praised Cr Dowell's and Ms Saffin's dedication to their communities, but quipped that every time he spoke to Ms Saffin it cost him money.



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