Adelaide City Skate Park

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 16:16 :30 ): I move:

That this council—

1. Notes that skate parks across the world provide for considerable positive youth development opportunities;

2. Notes that the Adelaide City Skate Park has been an outstanding social and recreational space for South Australia since June 2000, and in this time it has also provided a career launch pad for professional skaters and riders;

3. Expresses concern that, as a result of announcements to build new medical facilities on the site of the Adelaide City Skate Park, the state government has terminated its lease with the Adelaide City Council, effective June 2014, yet did not make a corresponding financial commitment for a replacement central city skate space; and

4. Calls upon the state government to urgently commit to funding a permanent central city skate space in the upcoming budget.

I note a sense of deja vu. A little less than a year ago I moved almost the exact same motion, calling on the state government to ensure that monies were allocated to ensure the relocation of the Adelaide City Skate Park. I urge members of the government to take this issue seriously.

We were told in the debate almost a year ago, in June 2014, that it was premature, to quote the government's words, to have such an allocation of money to the Adelaide city skate space, but we now see a skate space that is a construction site, as the biomedical precinct is built right over the top of it. We are actually seeing, because of the lack of skating places, what I said we would see happen, namely, when there is no skate park in the city, the city becomes a skate park.

For those of you who enjoy a video on YouTube, I refer you to a Nitro Circus athlete, who took a scooter and jumped the fence of our current closed city skate park and did quite a spectacular move over the top of those very construction fences. It was quite a monumental feat! Off he goes down North Terrace. Of course, it is something that is probably quite dangerous, certainly not optimal, and would not have happened had there been a city skate park relocation process in place.

Inappropriate timing, but it is Groundhog Day here in parliament, because here we are again: I am putting up this motion a year after I put it up last time, and we still have seen no movement from the state government in committing to a relocated skate space.

I urge the state government to ensure that, in this state budget, we have an appropriate financial commitment from the state government that matches the efforts that have been put into this issue, in consultation by the Adelaide City Council and to the SA Skate Space Association, which has diligently worked on plans and attempted to be conciliatory with both local and state government, yet here we are still waiting for an announcement of funding to be allocated to this from the Weatherill Labor government.

Yet, Premier Weatherill stood to next to then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, when they announced that the biomedical precinct would be built and assured the South Australian community that the Adelaide skate park would be relocated and that the state government would ensure that. We are now three prime ministers on, but still the same state government. I hope that this state government will finally get its skates on. We have a new mayor as well, and I am sure that both mayors would have loved to have been celebrating the new skate space being opened rather than the events that I have been to, which have been mourning the loss of what has been a vital, vibrant, creative space, a safe space for skaters and the skating community.

On the last day before those construction fences went up, I went to an event that was attended by hundreds from the skating community, with many skaters getting in one last legal skate in that space. I was dismayed to discover that the water had been turned off some weeks before and that it was already a demolition site. That is certainly a slap in the face for young people particularly, but also older people who enjoy skating and BMXing and the like. There have been many attempts by that community to work productively, yet all we have seen is the announcement by the city council of a temporary space in a location that may or may not proceed into the future. It is not good enough.

We talk a lot about having a vibrant capital city. You do not have a vibrant capital city without ensuring that the Adelaide city skate space is relocated. We must be looking to ensure that we have a facility that is one of the best in the world, one we can be proud of and boasting of and one that we can launch, rather than bemoaning the fact that we have a construction site that is being used illegally by skaters, or that skaters are heading down to the Bunnings car park in Mile End or using Victoria Square. While Victoria Square has been designed to be skate friendly, it has certainly not been designed to be solely a skate park.

I urge members of the government to ensure that there is in this budget a good news announcement for the skating community that they work productively, using the extensive consultations that have been done with the skating community and Adelaide City Council staff, and that we see that good news announcement being made prior to the state budget.

I will be bringing this motion to a vote on 17 June, the day before the state budget. I look forward to it not being necessary, or perhaps, as I say, it being a moment that we can reflect on, or perhaps we can celebrate the appropriate announcement of an adequate amount of funding from the state government to this vital skate park relocation project.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins.

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