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Council to develop Skate and BMX Facilities Strategy for the city

Time to put the baseball cap on backwards, wheelslide into your best fakie, have some roast beef and salad grind, then Japan off that funbox.

We are talking the lingo of skateboarders and Ipswich City Council is about to go all hip ollie and investigate putting new venues in across the city.

Council receives numerous requests each year for the construction of skate and BMX facilities in different locations across the city.

Works, Parks and Recreation Department chief operating officer Bryce Hines said the expectation for these facilities is high due to the standard of facilities being developed around Australia and

throughout the world, and the increased level of participation in the use of these facilities.

“As such, council has identified the need to develop a Skate and BMX Facilities Strategy for the city. The Skate and BMX Facilities Strategy will provide strategic direction, practical

guidelines, recommendations and suggested actions for immediate, medium and long term implementation on the appropriate location, development, management, maintenance and

activation of new and existing skate and BMX facilities in Ipswich,” he said.

There are currently 35 skate and BMX facilities at 30 locations in Ipswich – 14 concrete and 21 dirt. Rotary Park, Bundamba; Bob Gibbs Park, Springfield; and Tom Lenihan Park, Rosewood are the most popular skate facilities in the city.

“The majority of facilities in Ipswich are same size (small local); same style (transition skate or freestyle dirt) and primarily cater for beginner to intermediate users, with limited opportunity for advanced users,” Mr Hines said.

“There is a lack of skate and BMX facility diversity in Ipswich, particularly street/skate plaza, flow, concrete facilities specific to the needs of advanced skaters, freestyle BMX riders and modern freestyle BMX dirt jumps.

“The city is over-supplied with beginner to intermediate BMX dirt jump facilities and is lacking an advanced level freestyle BMX dirt jump facility.  Ipswich is deficient in larger scale facilities and smaller scale (spot/dot) concrete skate facility opportunities.”

The council strategy identified potential new locations for concrete skate and BMX facilities as the Ipswich CBD, Springfield Central, Ripley Valley, Redbank Plains, Karalee, Flinders View, Leichhardt, Churchill and Redbank.

It recommended dirt BMX facilities at Springfield Central, Brassall, Ripley Valley, Thagoona, Karalee, Flinders View and Pine Mountain.

“Additional skate and BMX facilities are needed to accommodate the projected increasing population, particularly in the eastern and central planning districts,” he said.

The strategy also recommended repair work at some of the most over-used skate facilities in the city.

“Council recognises that many of its residents and visitors skate, BMX, scooter or roller blade as part of a broad range of recreational activities. The provision of specific facilities where skaters, bladers, scooter and BMX riders can recreate and socialise allows for such activities to be carried out away from the danger of potential vehicle and pedestrian conflict.”

The strategy recommended that new facilities be in areas which could draw on a high proportion of young people, accessible by public transport, at least 50m away from homes, had good surveillance and visibility, and there was sufficient space for expansion and supporting infrastructure.

Council would also consult the community – in particular skateboarders and BMX riders – for their suggestions.

Mr Hines said there was no money set aside in council budgets as yet, but developers coming into the city would likely include skate parks in specific projects.

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