Forget the car park, build a skate park

Think of he children: IGA owner Matt Smith, longtime Appin resident Ken Wright (front left to right) and other members of the town want Wollondilly Council to build a skate park for the kids. Picture: Simon Bennett

Think of he children: IGA owner Matt Smith, longtime Appin resident Ken Wright (front left to right) and other members of the town want Wollondilly Council to build a skate park for the kids. Picture: Simon Bennett

It may be one of the faster growing suburbs in Macarthur, but unfortunately for Appin’s youngsters, there isn’t a whole lot to do in the small town.

Appin IGA owner Mark Smith wants that to change.

Mr Smith said a skate park in the town would give the young children and teenagers a place to gather and ride safely – instead of using his supermarket car park.

“They’re in the car park riding skateboards and scooters and it’s a danger to them,” he said.

“One fell over the other day and grazed his knee but there have been plenty of near misses.

“I’ve spoken to them and the said ‘we have nowhere else to go’.”

Mr Smith said kids occasionally used timber pallets to create makeshift jumps on the basketball court behind the IGA, but they preferred the kerb and guttering in the car park – just a few metres from the main road.

Adding insult to injury, Mr Smith said a bike track along Kennedy Street that had a few jumps made by local kids about eight years ago was flattened on Wednesday by Wollondilly Council.

The Advertiser has contacted the council for comment.

The Appin IGA owner said councillor Matt Deeth had been doing a “fair bit of work in the background” regarding the skate park.

Cr Deeth the skate park “was a great idea” and at the next council meeting he would ask the council to look at providing more facilities for the town’s young people.

“Appin is a very isolated community – there’s not lots of activities for young kids to do,” he said.

“The community has seen quite a large amount of development in Appin – and there’s more coming shortly.

“I’d like to see money from developers be allocated to improve facilities in the area – particularly for young people.”

Mr Deeth said the Appin community wasn’t alone in its request for a skate park.

A petition for a facility in Picton has been created while Oakdale residents have also expressed their desire to see a skate park built in their town.

Long time resident Ken Wright said he was worried an Appin child would be involved in a fatal accident unless the skate park was built.

“I’m concerned one of them will be hit by a car and killed or paralysed,” he said.

“In my opinion the kids of Appin are the best kids in the world and if they are given a skate park, they will treat it like a sanctuary.”

Mr Smith said the basketball courts behind the IGA would be the perfect location given its proximity to the CBD and nearby amenities like public toilets.

He said while there were obvious safety risks to the kids, there was also the potential of a lawsuit if one of them were hurt while in the car park.

“It would come down to a public liability suit,” he said.

“It could be quite a bit of money – particularly if a car ran over someone.”

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