On a roll for youth

On a roll for youth

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Youth Minister Tony Simpson tries out the skate plaza in Beckenham on Wednesday afternoon while City of Gosnells director of infrastructure Dave Harris watches on in amazement at Mr Simpson’s skills. Photograph — Matt Devlin.
Youth Minister Tony Simpson tries out the skate plaza in Beckenham on Wednesday afternoon while City of Gosnells director of infrastructure Dave Harris watches on in amazement at Mr Simpson’s skills. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

Young people in Beckenham were so eager to use the new skate plaza at Mills Park the City of Gosnells opened it early, according to mayor Olwen Searle.

Speaking at a celebration of the plaza on Wednesday, Mrs Searle said the plaza’s success was a promising sign for the broader Mills Park project.

“(The children) couldn’t wait to get into this facility so we opened it before anything else,” she said.

“They were actually breaking in to use it so we thought we may as well just let them in and it’s been great to have them here.”

She said the facility was developed in collaboration with local youth and was Perth’s first dedicated street skate plaza.

“The City has a dedicated team of youth workers who offer exciting programs for young people – this skate plaza will certainly give them a perfect backdrop for those programs and special events,” she said.

The skate plaza, already described by Skateboarding WA’s Ben Bowring as the best designed skate plaza in Western Australia, is just one part of the $47 million redevelopment of Mills Park, which is soon to be completed.

The design, which also involved Skateboarding Australia, features a mini ramp with terraced connections and gaps, allowing skaters to flow through the area across banks, drops, gaps, ledges, stairs, rails and transitions.

The celebration coincided with National Youth Week, which runs from April 8 to 17.

Youth Minister Tony Simpson said the plaza provided an example for other local governments.

“Local governments have got skate parks all around the state but the bar has been raised with this,” he said.

“For just over $600,000 this is really good value for money.

“I don’t think I’d find one much better considering the plaza in Fremantle was $1 million plus and it’s nowhere near this size.”

The Mills Park redevelopment will include new sports fields, WA’s first synthetic soccer pitches, picnic and barbecue areas, paths and conservation zones.

Many facilities are nearing completion including a children’s nature play area and the Mills Park Community Centre, which has already become the state’s first six-star green star public building.

To celebrate the plaza opening and National Youth Week, the City’s Youth Services team hosted a sausage sizzle while one of its youth workers and former State Skate Champion Harry Clark demonstrated his skate skills.