Top job: Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell with Nimbin skateboarders Cedar Leeberry (15), Ry Burer (14), and Connor Anderson (15), and Richmond MP Justine Elliot at the unveiling of the new skate park due to be completed before the Christmas holidays.
Top job: Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell with Nimbin skateboarders Cedar Leeberry (15), Ry Burer (14), and Connor Anderson (15), and Richmond MP Justine Elliot at the unveiling of the new skate park due to be completed before the Christmas holidays. Jerad Williams

Nimbin skaters approve new park

LUCAS BRIDGEMAN had a tough job and a tough audience.

The Lismore City Council special projects engineer's task was to design a new skate park for Nimbin that avoided the noise problems of the existing community-built one, and satisfy the expectations of skaters who had grown used to a facility regarded as one of the best in the country.

Yesterday he pulled it off with flying colours, presenting young skaters Connor Anderson, Ry Burer and Cedar Leeberry with a design they unanimously declared better than the original.

The design he presented yesterday, to be built by the council with $449,000 of Federal stimulus money, came with a collection of obscure tags for its various sections: There was a snake run, a hubba, volcano, manual pad and a spine – terms that made virtually no sense to anyone but Mr Bridgeman and the skaters.

Whatever the terms mean, as far as Connor, Ry and Cedar were concerned, they're good things to have in a skate park.

The skaters were particularly taken with the skate run – a long, deep tube running along the top of the park before emptying into a great concrete bowl. None of them had ever skated on one before and the thought of learning to do it had them fairly bubbling with excitement.

“I'd say I like this one better,” said Connor, who last week won a Kids in Community Award for his fight to get a new skate park in Nimbin's Peace Park.

“This has a variety of things and the old one's just ramps.”

The skaters had an active hand in the skate park's design, having met with Mr Bridgeman to outline the sorts of things they wanted from their new skate park.

They may yet want to tweak the design a bit, but they weren't able to agree yesterday on what – if anything – should change.

The skaters were shown the new design at what had originally been billed as a tour of the site by Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, but turned into an inspection of the plans at the nearby bowling club because of the rain.

Ms Elliot said the skate park was fairly typical of the sorts of things being built with stimulus money provided through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

Mr Bridgeman said the skate park was supposed to be finished in December.

Construction of the facility was expected to start some time between mid-September and early October.

Cr Dowell said the council was keen to have the facility up and running during the school holidays.

“It's a Christmas present,” Cedar said.



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