IT is a shame that what used to be regarded as normal play behaviour by young people a couple of generations ago, with decreasing areas of, and thus increasingly precious, bush in our suburbs, is now seen as vandalism.
However, tweens and teens need places, close to home, to be outside and get rid of their energy.
If there is no suitable provision for them, they will find and create spaces for themselves as they are doing in Star Swamp now.
The City of Stirling has a great skate and BMX facility strategy. It acknowledges that existing skate and BMX facilities are overcrowded and do not offer a sufficient range of user experience.
It makes great suggestions for future facilities throughout the City.
However, North Beach seems to fall outside of the catchment areas of the ‘satellite’ facilities at Carine Open Space and Scarborough Beach Reserve (there is no overlap as occurs on the east side of the City of Stirling) and North Beach is the furthest suburb from the Hertha North Reserve ‘Hub’.
If there is no chance of identifying a suitable spot in Star Swamp where the BMX activity can be encouraged, then can a place elsewhere in North Beach for a small dirt BMX track be identified, along the lines of the low-cost dirt BMX facility that is proposed in the strategy for Dianella public open space?
The City has an opportunity to take a proactive step to fill an apparent gap in BMX provision and help preserve the conservation value of Star Swamp.
If the situation continues, there will be further damage and perhaps young people facing vandalism charges for just wanting a place to ride their BMX: an activity that elsewhere in the City is encouraged.
WENDY SEYMOUR, Carine