Leading the campaign to complete the Nimbin skate park are (from left) Neil Morrison, of Nimbin Boardriders, Nimbin Chamber of Commerce president Wendy Sarkissian, Fraco Girardi, of Nimbin Boardriders, Nimbin Community Centre co-ordinator Marcus Mantscheff, chamber vice-president Peter Wise and Community Centre president Dick Hopkins.
Leading the campaign to complete the Nimbin skate park are (from left) Neil Morrison, of Nimbin Boardriders, Nimbin Chamber of Commerce president Wendy Sarkissian, Fraco Girardi, of Nimbin Boardriders, Nimbin Community Centre co-ordinator Marcus Mantscheff, chamber vice-president Peter Wise and Community Centre president Dick Hopkins. Brenden Allen

Lismore council urged to get skates on

DON’T get your hopes up – that was the clear message from Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell to Nimbin’s frustrated skaters, Chamber of Commerce and senior police, who want the long-delayed Nimbin skate park finally completed using funds from the Prime Minister’s $300 million community infrastructure stimulus package.

The money is intended to boost local economies during the global financial crisis.

The Nimbin community wants just $50,000 to finally complete the fenced-off community asset and deaden any noise from its steel ramps.

Councillors will make their decision on December 9, based on the recommendations of staff in a report due this week on what projects should get priority for council’s $1 million allocation.

However, the immediatefuture of the skate park looks bleak, with Cr Dowell stating there are several competing projects of long standing that would require all the money, including a $500,000 youth plaza in Goonellabah.

 While Cr Dowell refused to completely rule out the skate park, she said no councillor had raised it for inclusion.

“Some staff believe it will never comply with the EPA noise guidelines, even with sound proofing, because it is made of steel and its proximity to some houses,” she said.

Yesterday, Nimbin Community Centre president Dick Hopkins and co-ordinator Marcus Mantscheff, Nimbin Chamber of Commerce president Wendy Sarkissian and vice-president Peter Wise, made an urgent plea for the council to allocate just $50,000 of the government funds to complete the skate park.

They said the project ticked all the boxes to qualify for the Federal money as one that could start immediately, stimulate the local economy and improve the quality of life of many residents.

Both Mr Wise and Ms Sarkissian said strong demand was there, with frustrated skaters often sneaking over the fence to use the ramps.

 Mr Wise said there were limited activities available to youth in Nimbin.

Mr Mantscheff said it simply needed a funding commitment to use skilled labour to finish the skate park, including noise reduction and to pay for ongoing management.

Mr Hopkins said the matter had become more complex because the Community Centre-owned site had been split on to two land titles, with the title transition half-completed pending either a council acceptable completion of the skate park, or its demolition.

 Cr Dowell said she would hate for it to be demolished and encouraged supporters to put in an application for 2009 council budget funds.


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