Concerned about the future of the Nimbin skate park at its current location are (from left) Zachariah Kay, Asia Hallet, Romany Pike, Marcus Mantscheff and Neil Morrison.
Concerned about the future of the Nimbin skate park at its current location are (from left) Zachariah Kay, Asia Hallet, Romany Pike, Marcus Mantscheff and Neil Morrison. David Nielsen

Nimbin skate park skating on thin ice

ASIA Hallet has waited for almost a third of her life for the Nimbin skate park to open.

She was just 14 when the Nimbin Community Centre Inc received approval from the Lismore City Council to build the world-class skating facility.

That was more than seven years ago, back in 2001.

“We were so excited about it,” Ms Hallet said.

Ms Hallet said she thought it would take one to two years for the skate park to be built and opened.

She would never have imagined that seven years later the world-class skating facility would remain unopened, padlocked and closed to the youth who so desperately want to use it.

Ms Hallet, now 20, has grown up and left town.

She now works in Queensland as a polo groomer, and is no longer interested in learning how to ride a skate board.

The latest blow to the skate park came at Tuesday night's council meeting, when community centre manager Marcus Manstcheff pleaded with the council for $50,000 from the Prime Minister's infrastructure fund to finish the park. The council said no.

Construction on the almost-finished skate park stopped in 2005 after noise complaints were made by neighbours. Since that time, the community has tried to find solutions to the park's noise problems.

Sound engineers have been consulted and numerous options have been explored.

In August, the council voted to allow the community centre to complete the park in order to see if it would be possible for it to comply with council noise requirements.

They have given the developer 12 months to find a solution, or the skate park will be dismantled.

The Council's Executive Director of Development and Governance, Brett McAlister, said he had doubts the park would be able to comply without fully enclosing it. “You have a steel skate ramp just six metres from a house,” he said.

Mr McAlister said enclosing the park was out of the question due to crime prevention requirements.

He said he could not comment on why the DA was approved in the first place because he was not employed by the council at the time.

Mayor Jenny Dowell said the council was committed to giving the youth of Nimbin a skate park.

However, she would give no assurances the current park would ever open.

The park won a Prime Minister's award for the best work-for-the-dole project in 2004.

Funding winners

  • $679,000 to the Youth Plaza at Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic centre.
  • $245,000 to Nesbitt Park in South Lismore.
  • $145,000 to 29 rural halls.


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