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Kambah u-pipe here to stay... for now

Date

Stephanie Anderson

'Ride within your ability'... President of the Canberra Skateboarders Association Luke Brown, at the historic Kambah u-pipe.

'Ride within your ability'... President of the Canberra Skateboarders Association Luke Brown, at the historic Kambah u-pipe. Photo: Jay Cronan

This piece of concrete comes with a warning: skilled users only.

Located amidst the trees in the Kambah Adventure Playground, the facility is well known to skateboarders throughout the country, many of whom have left reviews along with the aforementioned caution.

But this unique u-pipe structure has been pushed into the spotlight by its niche admirers, after concerns about its removal were raised last week.

President of the Canberra Skateboarders Association Luke Brown.

President of the Canberra Skateboarders Association Luke Brown. Photo: Jay Cronan

An online petition to save the skate bowl, initially posted by Canberra Skateboarding Association president Luke Brown, has attracted hundreds of signatures since an email exchange between ACT Government employees discussing its potential removal were made public.

Released under Freedom of Information laws, the series of emails stated that work on the facility should be prioritised due to "potential for young children to fall into the bowl and then be unable to escape".

The correspondence outlined suggestions for filling the skate bowl after highlighting concerns over the "drop" from the bottom step, which was described as around 1.7 metres.

But Mr Brown said the drop was a curved slope rather than a 1.7m fall, adding that there were many more dangerous skate parks around the world.

"Skateboarders, BMX riders, whoever – you ride within your ability," he said.

"It's about common sense. The Kambah u-pipe is fenced in. It's not like you can stumble into it."

Mr Brown said maintaining skate parks was a difficult task due to the lack of universally adopted standards, but said he was keen to discuss the issue with Territory and Municipal Services.

However TAMS stated that the skate park was not being removed, for the time being.

Manager of design development Diana Hill said the correspondence released by the ACT Government didn't show the final response, which recommended no immediate action be taken.

Ms Hill said a safety assessment of the facility would be carried out in the future, but an appropriate professional to carry out the review was still being finalised.

"At the moment, it's staying in place," she said.

"It's fenced off, preventing people from just wandering into it."

Removing the facility was not the government's preferred option, Ms Hill said, stating that if the challenging facility was removed, young skaters would seek that challenge elsewhere.

"They'll climb places they shouldn't and would be at a higher risk," she said.

The ACT Government could not provide a timeframe for the impending safety assessment.

7 comments

  • While it is a hard pipe to ride, it is still great fun for those who try. Please leave it in place!

    Commenter
    Joe
    Date and time
    October 10, 2012, 6:34PM
    • Let us see some sanity prevail...let the kids have some fun. We do not have to "risk manage" everything for our kids. There are hundreds of similar parks in New Zealand where there is not the risk of litigation because of their no fault system...this overprotection is destroying the opportunities for our kids to learn how to navigate life safely...and that involves being able to assess risk and to take risks if they choose.

      Commenter
      brumbyfan
      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 9:06PM
      • How many ACT Government employees have had to remove young children from the pipe in the odd thirty years of it been there? TAMS thanks for your recommended "no immediate action to be taken"!
        Never had a chance to sign the petition- sk8 or die

        Commenter
        Domload
        Location
        Torrens
        Date and time
        October 10, 2012, 10:27PM
        • Nanny state meets public liability insurance fears all over again. People may have forgotten, but a lot of children playgrounds were "rehabiltated" (I'm guessing that's the word that would have been used) to eliminate risks. So, today's kids experience nothing like what we did when we were growing up. Let's not do it again.

          Commenter
          YS
          Date and time
          October 10, 2012, 10:58PM
          • (T.i.C.) So, maybe TAMS should fill it in and let the skateboarders return to cruising down the Black Mountain Tower access road, Uhhh? Be a lot safer for young kiddies!

            Commenter
            JohnD
            Location
            Southern Tablelands
            Date and time
            October 11, 2012, 6:47AM
            • Fun Police are on their way.... again.... booooo! and I dont even skate or live on the south side..

              Commenter
              Shogunmatty
              Location
              Reality
              Date and time
              October 11, 2012, 8:18AM
              • I spent loads of time at the playground as a kid (7-11 years old) and always loved watching BMX and skateboard riders in here and when they weren't there I LOVED playing in there.

                It was always a challenge to climb out, but that was the fun of it!!

                Commenter
                Maree
                Location
                Canberra
                Date and time
                October 11, 2012, 10:12AM
                • There's plenty of danger to be had at the adventure playground. And that's exactly why it's the best playground in the ACT. Part of being a kid is pushing boundaries and learning things the hard way. A few scabbed knees or at worst, a broken bone shouldn't warrant the removal of fun outdoor activities.

                  Commenter
                  Priapist
                  Location
                  Canberra
                  Date and time
                  October 11, 2012, 2:02PM
                  Comments are now closed
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