It’s possible a new skate park originally proposed for Greystanes could end up in an existing dog park elsewhere.
Dirrabari Reserve in Pemulwuy is one of three potential sites Cumberland Council has proposed, along with Bathurst Street Park and Greystanes Sportsground.
A council survey regarding site preferences has already received more than 370 responses within five days.
The Skate Park for Greystanes group spent five years campaigning for the facility.
The former Holroyd Council was the only local government area in Sydney without a dedicated skate park. The closest is seven kilometres away in Wetherill Park.
“We were told by Cumberland Council in March that we would be part of every step of the process,” spokeswoman Julie Overton said.
“We weren’t even told that the report was on last month’s council agenda until after the meeting. We met with them afterwards but left with more questions than answers.”
She was shocked Dirrabari Reserve will be considered.
Many skaters would have to cross a busy stretch of Greystanes Road which attracts more than 18,300 traffic movements per day, according to 2016 Roads and Maritime statistics.
Mrs Overton said it’s also a speeding hotspot, where 530 fines were issued last year.
“The skate park will fail if it in ends up there,” she said.
“It does not make sense – we ask for the skate park to be built close to an area where young people frequent every day and is safe and accessible to the majority of Greystanes residents. And we end up with an alternative site which is isolated and too dangerous to access by young riders, and not even in Greystanes”
She called for better community consultation.
“The council has not bothered to meet with the kids here, who know where the best spot is and will tell them it’s Bathurst Street Park,” Mrs Overton said. “They need to hold a community forum and hear from the youth people who will use it. Youth need to be heard – otherwise unfortunately the whole process becomes politicised. It would be tragic to see a new major community asset be built in the wrong location, and worse still see the community begrudging it.”
Cumberland Council community and culture group manager Brooke Endycott assured all voices will be heard and considered.
“This is just one step in an extensive consultation process whereby all community members will be provided with opportunities to have their say,” she said.
“At the same time the survey is taking place, experts will be engaged to analyse the proposed sites further. Expert assessments along with the online survey results will then be reported back to council to determine the recommended site taking into consideration community feedback and expert assessments. Another round of consultation will be undertaken in relation to the detailed design of the skate park once the final site is determined. At this point the community will again have an opportunity to have their say, and this will be done through multiple methods.”
The council will host a pop up skate park and mentoring event at Bathurst Street Park on July 16 as part of the Locale Festival.