• Tony Bosworth

Have your say on local parks and recreation for all – what do you want to see?

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

With the news this last week that Bilpin and St Albans are soon to get new childrens’ parks, as part of $1.6m in government funding for local projects, questions are being asked about recreation facilities for older children and late teens to help them get out and about too.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman with Riley and William in Bligh Park [pic taken last week]

Bligh Park teenagers, William Potts and Riley Cotter, both aged 16, are just two of our younger Hawkesbury residents who would like to see better facilities across our region.

Both active in athletics, and keen bike riders, the two friends would like to see an increase in outdoor facilities for teenagers.

Mum Sharyn Potts said facilities that encouraged teens to get outside and be active were badly needed.

“We need somewhere for the kids to go where they feel like they’re doing something, and are a part of something,” Ms Potts said.

“We need facilities that encourage children across different age groups to get off the phone or off the computer and get active outside.”

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman is determined to help and wants to find out how our local parks and recreation facilities can be built, added to or improved so all age groups can make use of them.

“I’ve been speaking to many people in recent weeks who have been using local parks and outdoor spaces regularly during lockdown, and many of them commented about what they’d like to see in the area,” Ms Templeman said.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to ask people what they think is working and what isn’t, what needs improving, and what’s missing.

“That’s why I decided to put together a survey that people can fill out online so we can start a conversation about what facilities are needed in our community.”

Ms Templeman said some bike riders like William and Riley had been disappointed with the recent destruction of home-built bike jumps and paths in nearby bush, and that a conversation is needed around providing legal facilities that could be enjoyed by the whole community.

“When facilities aren’t provided, people sometimes take it upon themselves to try and fill the gap, which sometimes results in something that isn’t permissible by local authorities,” Ms Templeman said.

“I had a huge response to my survey on social media over the weekend, with so many suggestions for facilities – from outdoor basketball courts to bike tracks, to simple facilities like seating and shelter.

“I’d like everyone to have the opportunity to share what facilities they’d like to see, and help start this really important conversation, which has to happen at three levels of government, and I hope we can all engage in a collaborative discussion that gets the best results for Hawkesbury residents.”

You can have your say on local parks and outdoor areas by filling out the survey at https://form.jotform.com/212868286463972

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