Opening the Belco Bowl

With Chris Bourke MLA, I opened the revamped Belconnen Skate Park (aka 'Belco Bowl') today - a splendid facility for skaters and BMX riders that was partly funded by federal money under the stimulus program. It's located on the edge of Lake Ginninderra, which I argued can remind skaters that their sport started when Californian surfers looked out at flat waves, and decided they had to invent another sport.

The original Belco Bowl was opened in the early-1980s, only a few years after the invention of the 'ollie'. I'm told that the revamp makes this the largest skate park in the southern hemisphere. It'll be a great place for skaters to make friends, try new tricks, and enjoy the great view across the lake.

Below is a video and the press release that Chris and I put out.



NEW BELCONNEN SKATE PARK OPEN FOR BUSINESS


Federal Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh MP, and Member for Ginninderra, Dr Chris Bourke MLA, today officially opened the completed $4.2 million skate park in Belconnen providing the local community with a new state-of-the-art recreation facility.

As a joint initiative, the project received funding of $2 million from the Australian Government and $2.2 million from the ACT Government.

“I am pleased to be here today to celebrate the official opening of the Belconnen Skate Park and Eastern Valley Way Inlet upgrades,” Mr Leigh said.

“This project has restored the “Belco Bowl” to its former glory and rebuilt the park into a high quality facility that meets contemporary international skate-boarding and BMX standards.”

The new skate park design has retained the existing ‘Belco Bowl’ that is famous to local, national and international skaters.  The upgrade also includes a new street skate plaza with a mix of sculptural obstacles, a flow area/snake run, a mini ramp, a large shelter, seating, new lighting and viewing areas for family and friends.

Dr Bourke said the facility has the direct benefit of improving the skate park, but had the flow on effect of also improving the immediate surrounding area.

“This project has not only delivered a refurbished, state-of-the-art facility for skateboarders and BMX riders but also includes improvements to the adjacent foreshore area, creating an attractive recreation spot for the residents of Belconnen,” Dr Bourke said.

To celebrate the reopening of the refurbished skate park today, members of the Canberra Skateboard Association and BMX community held a series of informal competitions and demonstrations to showcase the new facilities.

“The reopening of the skate park completed one of two stages of work which included the skate park and the immediate public realm. The second stage of works includes the establishment of wetlands within the Eastern Valley Way Inlet, boardwalks, a new bridge, toilet block and refurbishment of the promenade area adjacent to the inlet.

“The skate park is part of a wider foreshore redevelopment that will see the Lake Ginninderra Foreshore refreshed in the coming years with new shaded areas, drinking fountains, boardwalk and paths for cyclists. New lighting will ensure the skate park and surrounding area can be enjoyed in greater safety and with greater confidence by Belconnen residents for more hours of the day.

“The ACT Government has provided a further $4.52 million over the next two years for Stage 2 works and construction is expected to commence in early 2012.”

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8/1 Torrens Street, Braddon ACT 2612 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au