Esplanade youth plaza

06NEWS skate sullivanFREMANTLE Greens candidate Andrew Sullivan says Liberal rival Matthew Hanssen’s criticisms of the Esplanade youth plaza are a slap in the face of local youth.

Mr Hanssen fears the plaza will drive families away from the Esplanade, but Cr Sullivan says the city must become youth-friendly as a key part of its “renaissance”.

“Traditionally, areas designed for youth activities have often been placed on the margins of a city by those who think kids should be seen but not heard,” he says.

“We must not continue to make our youth feel unwelcome in their own town or expect them to hang out in areas where anti-social behaviour and bullying can go unnoticed.”

He says the location of the plaza is not yet known and, “we need to let these world-class designers work out how to sensitively incorporate a youth plaza into the overall space”.

Two options have been mooted—the ferris wheel site and the mound area next to the carpark opposite the Italian club.

“Why don’t we let the youth of this town have a say for once rather than have a few angry adults kill off another youth-focused proposal before it’s even started,” Cr Sullivan says. “Like most people in our community, young people want safe and convenient places to hang out.”

Mr Hanssen says the plaza threatens the park’s picnic and fresh air culture.

“I raised this issue again at the council’s annual electors’ meeting earlier this month as families have said they will stop bringing their children to the Esplanade because of the skate park,” he told the Herald.

“This will impact on nearby local businesses such as cafes and we need to protect local business to keep local jobs.”

Cr Dave Coggin accuses Mr Hanssen of being anti-children.

“He doesn’t understand that the youth plaza will welcome kids, youth and families into the heart of Freo, and actually enhance the Esplanade.

“He clearly doesn’t understand the needs of Fremantle families and children.”

by CARMELO AMALFI

2 responses to “Esplanade youth plaza

  1. Esplanade Youth Plaza sounds and looks like a great idea! There will be plenty of room left for picnics, it’s a big place!

  2. I don’t like the idea of having to go to a park and see youths making noise and enjoying themselves. With their rap music, loose fitting clothes and slightly skewiff hats that make me question my concept of equilibrium.

    We’re clearly going to need to build some sort of fence around the youth plaza, ideally a large wall. With guards to make sure they don’t leave…and to ensure the culture of fresh air is kept intact for those outside the wall.

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