An ironic event is planned in one of Perth’s wealthiest coastal suburbs after a bizarre campaign by some locals against a skate park project.
Signs posted in Cottesloe by the Grant Marine Park Residents Action Group claimed that the development would lead to “an increase in unwanted nighttime activities”, including drug trafficking, gangs and “non-resident visitors”.
A letter distributed by the group also suggested that the skate park would lead to anti-social behavior in an area honored by “smarter” professionals.
The letter said that “it shouldn’t come as a surprise” nearby Fremantle and Scarborough had skate parks as their residents had much lower rates of higher education.
Post Newspapers quoted a council meeting participant as saying that a skate park was “an inferior socio-economic establishment”.
Christopher Lesiter organized a “Skating Through Cottesloe” demonstration on Saturday afternoon, calling on people on wheels of all kinds to protest against “not in my backyard” attitudes.
“Take stock, take a stand,” the Gosnells resident told 6PR radio on Wednesday.
He called the group’s comments “classics,” saying skateparks are pro-social places for young people, making them active and off their digital devices.
“All young children should have the same opportunity to access great facilities. “
Treasurer Ben Wyatt was cast in controversy by posting on social media a photo of himself on a skateboard, alongside his daughter on a pedal scooter, with the caption “I call that Cottesloe Gangsta”.
Premier Mark McGowan urged the group and council to support activities for youth in the region.
“I took my kids to skate parks when they were younger and they loved it,” the Labor leader told reporters.
“Much of the reaction there has been completely unreasonable and completely overblown, and frankly a little embarrassing for this area.”
“I took my kids to skate parks when they were younger and they loved it. “
Sam Barnett, the son of former Liberal Prime Minister Colin Barnett, can view the site from his Cottesloe balcony and says children need a place to play.
“Skateboarding is now an Olympic sport … unfortunately in this region there is usually some old fog that doesn’t want the region to change,” he said.
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