Council and skaters: War and peace


UPDATE Friday 6:50pm: Council CEO Rex Mooney comments: ”The area in front of the Westpac Bank is private property and council has responded to representations made from the owner over a number of months resulting in the modification to the seating which, as indicated, is on private property.”
UPDATE 6:50pm: See comment by Matty Day in comment box below this report.
The Town Council has had railings welded on the benches designed for skating in the recently refurbished northern end of the Todd Mall.
Skater spokesman Matty Day says this is a “declaration of war on young people” as negotiations were under way to find a compromise about skating in the mall.
A shared use at certain times was under consideration, and it is understood Councillor Chansey Paech is going to raise the issue at Monday’s council meeting.
The benches were expressly designed to withstand skating on, but this has been made impossible or difficult by the railings.
The Alice Springs News Online is asking the town council for a comment.


  1. Apologies. I have just visited the site and the new work done isn’t restricting the original design use as skate able furniture. I would like to retract my comments and apologise for misinterpreting the photo I was shown. The benches on the western side of Todd St North are untouched. Thankfully.

  2. It is pleasing to see the matter is to be raised in a council meeting. I am sure some compromise can be worked out to allow skaters to access the area and accommodate all other users of the mall.

  3. Yeh and while we’re at it why don’t we get the Go Carts in, the BMX Bikes the Off Road Club, The Running Club, Tennis, Baseball we could all play our Sports in the Mall / CBD why restrict ourselves to our million dollar Sports Facilities when we could be up the Mall?
    Skating is just another sport, often jointly participated in by those playing the aforementioned sports.
    There is no more reason to undertake the skating activity in the CBD than any of the other activities.
    The community has provided a skate park – there’s even discussions about improvements and possible new venues.
    Skaters to date haven’t even been asked to pay a participation levy, like the other sports.
    Maybe it’s time to stop complaining and talk about that!

  4. Wholeheartedly agree with you Steve Brown.
    Poor little kids can’t do what they want down the mall but they can be rude to anyone who questions them.
    Maybe we can let the Drag Racing cars in also so they can, along with the skaters, drive the pedestrians out of the CBD.
    Lose your attitudes and grow up little boys and take your boards to the skatepark which you all lobbied for not so long ago.

  5. Steve and Bev, all you seem to have is vitriol, fear and the ridiculous, no facts no stats no vision.
    It would be foolish for you to continue to think that you will control the youth with big stick authoritarian attitudes.
    Those young people just keep coming and they choose bikes and skateboards as both transport and as a sport.
    Suck it up, it’s called change and by the way, you are sounding like the “poor little buggers” now.

  6. A few years ago the Alice Spring Youth Centre applied to council for funding to upgrade their skate bowl.
    Only to be told council couldn’t been seen to fund a second skate park. If the skaters want something closer to CBD maybe it’s time to improve a bowl that already exists.

  7. Thanks Marie, the issue is that they want access to the CBD and specifically the Todd St North space that was design to attract young people.
    It seems reasonable and manageable. Its just becomes a bigger issue because the dormant By Law 53 has all of sudden started being acted on and cost some of our young people exorbitant amounts of money. As we now know the blind eye can be turned on or off depending on the mood of certain individuals. We aren’t campaigning for another skatepark. Yet! And when we do we will raise funds ourselves and seek corporate sponsorship before asking for a government handout.

  8. If the area in front of Westpac Bank is private property, then has Council spent ratepayers’ money to provide seating on private property? And has Council then spent more ratepayers’ money to modify that seating?
    Not a good look, Alice Springs Town Council. Especially as the Westpac Group announced cash earnings of $3,525 million for the six months to 31 March, 2013.
    Maybe more better they buy their own chairs.

  9. Steve, you are ready for retirement. Things have changed since you were a teenager where playing marbles was the in thing.
    These kids are harmless and to have a small area allocated to them is reasonable.
    It’s better than them sitting in the river smoking weed and drinking. Give them a shot.


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