Sk8 Park sound tests first step forward

Zac Kay, one of the designers of the Nimbin Sk8 Park was amongst 20-odd skaters who braved fiercely hot conditions be part of sound tests on Tuesday.

Zac Kay has been wating 15 years for a skate park in Nimbin. For the last five years he has been heavily involved in the design work and the push to keep the dream alive. Now 33, he said he felt he had missed his window as a skater and has moved to Lismore where there was an operational skate park.

But I would come straight back here if there was a facility, he said. A lot of skaters have left town given up hoping and waiting. Theres absolutely nothing to do in Nimbin. The gym is closed and the football team has folded.

Despite having never officially opened, the Nimbin Sk8 Park has been dogged with controversy for the last two years after skaters jumped the fence and began using the park before any sound-proofing had been done. This led to noise complaints from neighbours.

Over $100,000 has now been spent on the park, along with countless hours of volunteer labour. However Lismore City Council has halted the project until noise levels can be addressed.

Zac was one of around 20-odd skaters who braved ferociously hot conditions and converged on the Nimbin Sk8 Park on Tuesday to create as much noise as possible for an acoustic engineer to accurately record sound levels. Metal bars, fixed to the steel ramps to prevent unauthorised use of the park were specially removed for Tuesdays sound test.

A report will be presented in a few weeks along with recommendations for sound mitigation work.

Zac said it was extremely frustrating.

Weve been ready to go for about two years now, he said. We even won the Prime Ministers award for a work-for-the-dole project. We want everyone to be happy...if we could all just work together. Its hard going forward with anything. No one can come to an agreement. I think its a simple thing just let us do the sound-proofing.

Zac said they knew the park was going to be noisy and flagged it as a concern from the outset.

We said; Are you sure you want it here? Because we knew noise would be an issue. All skate parks are noisy. But it is the ideal spot as far as kids are concerned. You dont want it in some out-of-town seedy spot where the kids cant get to.

President of the Nimbin Community Development Association, Richard Hopkins said not opening the park at all wasnt an option.

The only issue weve got now is noise levels, he said. And well get the noise levels down to an acceptable level. We want the skate park open for the youth of Nimbin. The general community is happy that this project is going to happen. They understand that we need more facilities for the youth of the town.

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