The Rawson community has turned out in numbers to mark the official opening of a dynamic new skate park, multi-play recreation space and recreational vehicle (RV) parking area in the heart of their town.
Even the rain couldn’t dampen local enthusiasm as Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Michael Leaney, Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing MP, Councillors and Council officers, representatives of Regional Development Victoria (RDV), local members of the project reference group, and excited Rawson residents celebrated the official opening on Monday afternoon.
The transformed precinct provides a space for people of all ages to come together and have fun and be active. The space includes:
- A variety of skate park ramps, rails and elements
- A tennis hit up wall
- A three-point line basketball court
- Picnic tables, shelter and seating
- Drinking fountains
- Disability compliant walkways
- Landscaping, embankments and plantings
- Grassed kickabout area
- An additional car and RV parking area.
The $484,173 project was delivered by Baw Baw Shire Council in partnership with Regional Development Victoria, with RDV contributing $322,782 and Council contributing $161,391 through its 2020/21 Capital Works Program.
On working with Council on the project, local dad and Project Reference Group member Liam Doyle said, “It’s been good actually. It’s felt like we’ve been able to have a say in how it’s all come together. Through the group we ended up basically helping design the concept of the park: we want a rail, a little half-pipe, etc.
“It’s great for the community. The kids have been looking for something to do a lot of the time and this is just what they needed. As soon as it was built and we were allowed in, the kids wanted to come here every single day.”
Long-time local and mum Tanya Nelson agrees. “My son loves it,” she says. “He’d be up here every day if he could. I’m so happy to see it happen. I’ve been a local here for a very long time and it’s great for the kids to have something to do up here. This is fantastic. It’s a great little park. The kids just love it.”
Following the formal proceedings, GippSport Streetgames turned up the tunes and led basketball activities on the half-court, while youths of all ages took to the skatepark after the rain to test their skills on the new facilities.
Project works were completed in early October and the site has been accessible to the public since. However, due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the formal opening was postponed to allow the opportunity for all key stakeholders to attend and be acknowledged in person.
The Rawson Skate Park and RV Parking Area project is a welcomed economic boost for the region’s tourism economy, particularly in the far east of the Shire after a challenging period affected by bushfires, floods and COVID-19 restrictions.