Skate park users have asked the council to consider putting up a kiosk for them to use. Photo: JEN McGHEEDubbo City Council staff are discussing an appeal by the users of the city’s skate park for a kiosk where they can grab a drink or a snack.
Nanjing Night Net

The proposed kiosk was one of the suggestions made by children and youth earlier this week at a community meeting and barbecue organised by the council after it was told of bullying at the world-class, $400,000 facility, opened a year ago.

Council staff and representatives of “service providers” such as the police, Smith Family, Mission Australia and UnitingCare Burnside made their way to the skate park on Wednesday where they talked to users about the bullying, but also littering and vandalism.

Late that afternoon, council’s social services manager John Watts revealed that efforts were being made to connect with a small group of youth thought to be disruptive.

He also signalled the immediate launch of an informal roster of adults willing to keep a watch on the skate park.

Yesterday, the manager reported that Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre staff had set up a barbecue and spent a “full day” at the park on Thursday.

“They surveyed a lot of the kids and are sending a report to me,” Mr Watts said.

Likewise, he was expecting written feedback from other service providers that had rallied behind council in its bid to curb anti-social behaviour reported by the community.

Among the adults visiting the skate park at different times is Mr Watts, who found it to be “looking pretty good” on Thursday.

“There was no rubbish and the kids were happy,” he said.

“We stay in the background so we don’t interrupt their fun. But at least they know that someone is there.”

Mr Watts said the “slowly, slowly” approach involving consultation would be more effective than a heavy-handed reaction.

“You’ve got to consult with people … otherwise they are not going to comply with the rules,” he said.

A byproduct of the intervention is infrastructure advice to the council from the skateboarders about “fences too low and ramps too high”.

“One of the biggest things to come out of talking with the kids is that they want a facility in the area where they can get a drink or something to eat,” Mr Watts said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.