Hamish and Oskar.

Boys petition for skatepark lighting

The petition that the boys started has already collected more than 800 signatures.
May 30, 2024
Jacki Elezovich

KALAMUNDA kids are running out of time to use the new Stirk Park skatepark before dark and two local boys have decided to take matters into their own hands.

The boys started a petition last week for lights and CCTV cameras to be installed around the skatepark, which already has more than 800 signatures.

“We sent it to all our mates and people have been really getting behind it, even the parents,” Oskar Pickering said.

“There’s not much up here for us younger people to do, so having this new skatepark is great, and being able to use it more would make it so much better.”

Oskar said lights will give their group of mates and other young people in Kalamunda more skating time and make the park safer for everyone.

“It’s definitely a safety thing. There’s a few sketchy people hanging around sometimes. We’ll push it as late as we can go, but skating in the dark isn’t great. If there’s a rock or a honkey-nut, you can’t see it and you end up stacking it,” he said.

“With cameras there wouldn’t be as much stealing. Right now, you can’t leave your stuff around while you skate. You have to just skate with your phone in your pocket and you could smash it,” Hamish said.

The new Kalamunda skate park was opened in November last year, following the $3.8 million redevelopment of the surrounding Stirk Park.

Fourteen-year-old skaters Oskar and Hamish Eaton said they eagerly awaited completion of the new park.

“The old skatepark isn’t great, so we were definitely all really excited about it,” Oskar said.

“It took a while to open, but now we have it and it’s got some really good stuff to use,” Hamish said.

However, the boys said the new facilities would go to waste during the winter months without proper lighting.

“We’re down here every day, or every second day if we have sport. But at the moment we only get about an hour to skate before it’s too dark, by the time we finish school and get up here,” Hamish said.

Upgrades to Stirk Park included the new skate park and two playground areas.

The skate park is built to accommodate all skill levels, however the boys said this becomes a problem when only the beginner section is lit and useable after dark.

“On the weekends it’s jam-packed. So, we can only properly ride on some parts and we have to wait until the younger kids go home to use the small part with lights,” Hamish said.

“After dark the younger kids are obviously going to go home and go to bed, so having lights would give us a bit more time when the park isn’t so crowded.”

Oskar said skating on the concrete in the mid-summer heat had proved a bad idea, too.

“It’s just unusable in the summer, it’s just way too hot. It takes forever to get cooler, and by the time it’s cooled down it’s too dark to skate,” he said.

City of Kalamunda Mayor Margaret Thomas said once mobile CCTV with motion-activated lighting had been installed by the city in response to increased levels of antisocial behaviour reported around the park, the city would continue to investigate long-term options to preserve community amenity and enhance safety.

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