Development of a skate park on the Percy Doyle Reserve in Duncraig continues after Joondalup Town Council voted to send the project to a design stage.
In addition to the skate park with bowl, the proposal includes BMX facilities, a multipurpose field, natural play elements, playgrounds, barbecue and picnic areas and areas for spectators.
Recreational facilities for young people would be on the site of the former tennis courts on Ron Chamberlain Drive, with CCTV and lighting also to be incorporated.
The estimated cost is between $4.3 and $5.7 million.
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According to the city, the scope of work is consistent with other similar contemporary play and skate spaces, including Bina Park in the City of Stirling, Briggs Park in Serpentine County Jarrahdale, Wellington Square in the City of Perth and Mills Park in the town of Gosnells.
While most councilors agreed to consider putting $200,000 in the 2022-23 budget to pay for the concept design, some expressed concerns about how the overall project would be funded.
“Once you go to concept design, you’re essentially locking in an expense that we don’t know the source of,” said Cr Russell Poliwka.
“I’m afraid that once we go down this path, we can’t go back. I support the concept, but I would like to know the potential funding sources.
Community planning and development manager Chris Leigh said the conceptual design would be presented to council with more detailed costs, which would be when council determines where the funding will come from.
He also confirmed that the city would apply for grants to help cover the costs.
Mayor Albert Jacob said the council was only voting to “start the process” and not committing them to the project, but needed a conceptual design to be able to seek funding.
He also said the $200,000 was “largely funded” by operating savings from the Duncraig Recreation Center, so there would be little impact on the budget.
Cr John Raftis also attempted to defer the decision to allow the skate portion to be considered part of Percy Doyle’s overall master plan to ensure it would fit into the reserve’s future plans.
But the motion was defeated 4-8, with Cr Russ Fishwick saying it would ‘kill the project for 10-15 years’.
Cr Fishwick, who first pioneered the concept six years ago, said there was a “vacuum of skateboarding facilities in the district compared to other sports such as soccer, football , netball, baseball, basketball, hockey, cricket and tennis”, but the sport appears to be “growing while team sports are in decline”.
He said skate parks have “many benefits” including providing a safe place for youngsters to have fun, they were designed and built to be “fiscally conservative” and require very little maintenance.
Skateboarding was also a “vital part of the urban community” and a facility would be safer than the streets.
“Skateparks are where skaters can recreate with others and meet people they might not meet on the street,” said Cr Fishwick.
“These are social spaces that will pique the interest of all parts of our community.”
Cr Fishwick also said the Percy Doyle site would have good visibility, was located away from residents and was accessible by public transport.
Preparation of the conceptual design will include community consultation and more detailed costing.
PREVIOUSLY: City of Joondalup Seeks Public Comment on Percy Doyle Reserve Skate Park and BMX Facilities
Percy Doyle Reserve signposted for BMX and skate park