• Rikki Lambert

No plans to skittle skate park at Apollo Bay: Authority

The coastal authority responsible for the Apollo Bay foreshore says there is no plan to axe the beloved local skate park, despite indicative plans showing it will be replaced.

Local residents have expressed concern that the facility for the region's youth created via fundraising efforts over the years could be removed in a proposed redevelopment.

For 2 years the Colac Otway Shire Council has been working with what is now known as the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA) on a plan for Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo.

Local attention has been drawn to a concept plan that depicts a new entertainment space for younger children in the same location as the existing skate park.

The Breaky Flow program discussed the situation on Monday morning on FlowFM:

GORCAPA informed Flow on Monday that it was releasing a new draft plan in June, with community engagement sessions scheduled for late June.

Speaking in state parliament last week, local Polwarth MP Richard Riordan highlighted community concerns:

"I'd really like to take the Minister on a tour of the GOR to the communities she has inflicted the GORCAPA upon.
"I want her to come talk to other communities ... Apollo Bay, all those beautiful spots - the Minister doesn't let anyone on the GORCAPA talk to myself or to the community - unless there is departmental officials accompanying them. The Minister is well used to sending the big wigs down from town to talk to these wonderful people and their communities so I am sure she could come down as well.
"I thought we would ask the question, why - for example - is this new Authority threatening to throw the kids off the skate park on the foreshore at Apollo Bay? It's been there a long time, the community has fundraised it, there is nowhere else to put a skate park, but they want to get rid of that."

See the full speech from Richard Riordan MP below:

Minister Thomas' office referred Flow's enquiries to GORCAPA for response, and CEO Jodie Sizer said:

“There are no plans to remove the skate park or pony club in Apollo Bay.
“The draft Community Infrastructure Plan is a high-level document that guides us and the council on the type of infrastructure that could be built well into the future.
“The foreshore masterplans within the document are indicative only. They are based on the types of land use that would be allowed under planning laws if existing infrastructure reached the end of its shelf life.”

Concerns have been expressed locally that there may be no long-term future for the existing skate park on the Apollo Bay foreshore.