David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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ACHIEVEMENT: The City of Melbourne provides world class skating facilities and at least one councillor is capable of using them (and getting up again).

TARGET DATE: July 2002.

PROGRESS: Skating facilities: Achieved.

The Skating Councillor: To be achieved in the fullness of time.

DESCRIPTION: The relocation of the Queen Victoria Skatepark, and the creation of the Riverslide Skatepark in Alexandra Gardens and South Kensington SK8Park in Holland park were achieved while I was Chair of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee.


In 2000, the long-term lease for the Queen Victoria Hospital Site needed to be vacated due to the Queen Victoria Hospital residential and office building development proceeding. Through negotiations, the skate park was retained at the site for longer than initially agreed to, but was ultimately on notice to move.

As part of a significant proposal for the Northbank Precinct, Council proposed the skatepark be moved their as one element of a family friendly facility. Northbank is the area over the river from what is known as Southbank. Despite repeated requests for State Government co-operation to confirm the Northbank proposal, the State Government provided no reply.

The area that is now the skatepark at Alexandra Gardens was chosen as a temporary location pending the expected decision of the Sate Government to endorse the Melbourne City Council Northbank proposal. Despite State Government delays, the day that I as Chair announced the temporary sighting of the Alexandra Gardens skatepark, the State Government issued statements suggesting a skatepark should be sighted in Northbank!

The Alexandra Gardens skatepark has subsequently renamed Riverslide Skatepark. The Melbourne City Council website describes it in this way:

Riverslide Skatepark in Alexandra Gardens was designed with skaters, for skaters. It has a real street-skating focus so you can test your stuff on the ramps and funboxes. There are areas for beginners, intermediate and more advanced skaters. There is also lots of shade and heaps of room for spectators or those taking a breather plus a café for refreshments.
You can also get first aid on-site in the skate office.
Where is it? The new spot in Alexandra Gardens is down from Flinders Street station on the river near the boatsheds (you might have been to these Gardens for Moomba).
Where can I skate on the way to the park? Council has spoken to skaters, traffic experts and other park users to work out the best skate access routes to the skate park.
Once the best routes have been decided, we'll make sure more details are available on this web site and around town.
In this section you can find information on:

· History of the Skatepark
· Other Skate Parks
· Skatesafe Program and preferred skating routes in the City.
· What Do You Think?

A Riverslide Skate park location map and how to get there from Flinders Street station is available from this hotlink.

The following media release of December 15 2000 details more about the skatepark.

Temporary Skate Park for the City Media Release

The City of Melbourne will convert a disused depot in Alexandra Gardens as the site for a temporary Skate Park, replacing the present one on the Queen Victoria Hospital Site. The temporary Skate Park is expected to open in time for the Easter school holidays. It is expected to operate for between two and three years while the City of Melbourne develops a permanent City Skate Park. The project is expected to cost $460,000 including the costs of relocating the depot, renovating existing buildings and constructing the skating facility. Designers Aspect Melbourne Pty Ltd are working with some of the skaters who use the present City Skate Park to design and construct the new facility.

Chair of the City of Melbourne Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee, Cr David Risstrom, said the provision of a skate facility in the city was important for young people. "Many young people have been concerned about the future of skating in the city because of the redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Hospital site and the closure of the present Skate Park in the near future."

"This Council is committed to providing skating facilities in the city and encouraging skating as a fun and healthy activity that adds to the vibrancy of the city. The present facility has been a tremendous success. "We have a proposal for a permanent Skate Park in the city on the north bank of the Yarra, which is currently with the State Government," said Cr Risstrom.

"Until a decision is made on a permanent site, we will continue to provide skating facilities for young people to manage skating in the city. "The new location in Alexandra Gardens returns the old depot site to public land for the enjoyment of young people. While it is not in the centre of the city, it is close to Flinders Street Station and other public transport."

Well-known Melbourne skater Anthony Mapstone said that the development of a new temporary Skate Park was important for city skaters. "The city is a great place to skate and young people enjoy coming here. It is good to know that the City of Melbourne is really keen to provide a venue for skating. "There may be a gap between the closure of the present park on the Queen Victoria Hospital site and the opening the new Skate Park, but I know that the Council is working very hard to make sure that any gap is not too long," Mr Mapstone said. The exact date for closure of the Queen Victoria Hospital site is uncertain. The City of Melbourne is working hard to ensure there will be a minimal gap and city skating will be available throughout the school holidays.

The Skate Park is being developed on the depot site on Jeffries Parade in the Alexandra Gardens, near the boatsheds (Melways ref: Map 2F J7). The public toilets at the entrance to the site will be upgraded as part of the work.


Also, while I was Chair of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee between 1999-2001, the Holland Park Masterplan was completed and the South Kensington SK8Park was developed. The Melways reference for the South Kensington SK8Park is map 42 J3

Both these facilities are heavily used for skating and other extreme sports and are extremely popular with young people, both from the municipality and other municipalities in greater Melbourne.



Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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