NUMURKAH skatepark users have been left disappointed by repeated acts of vandalism at the facility.
Skate park regular Josh McKenzie said he arrived at the venue last Friday, September 20, to find an oily substance poured over the concrete ramps and bowl.
Mr McKenzie told the Leader this is not the first time vandalism of this type has occurred.
“It happens around a couple of times a month,” he said.
“I was here yesterday evening and it was clean, so it’s been done over night; it’s almost always overnight on a week day.”
Mr McKenzie said that the substance appears to be a type of vegetable oil, but on some occasions other unidentifiable, sticky substances have been used.
As to the motive and identity of the vandal, Josh can’t be certain, but he does have some theories.
“I think it’s someone’s attempt to stop or discourage people from using the skatepark, because you can’t go skating or riding over oil can you?
“There have been verbal clashes with some of the local residents in the past, when they’ve objected to noise, so I suppose that it’s a possibility that it’s somebody who lives nearby. I mean, it’s obviously not a skatepark user.
“I have been here in the past when the police have arrived, saying they had reports of fighting, when there definitely hasn’t been any. I think some people just don’t like the park being here and want to deter people from using it.”
Mr McKenzie acknowledged that he was aware of some people using the skatepark after dark, which goes against regulations stated on signage at the park.
“Some people, working adults mostly, do come after the school kids have gone home in the evening, to ride BMXs.
“Unfortunately, in the winter time, that means it’s getting dark, or already dark, but still, we’re taking about six or seven pm, which isn’t exactly late, and it’s the only time available to them to use the facility.
As far as Mr McKenzie is concerned, that just strengthens the argument for an expansion of the park.
“With a bigger facility, more users, and different types of users, would be able to use the facility at the same time, and it may cut back on some of the after hours use.”
For now, Mr McKenzie will continue cleaning up unwelcome messes when they appear, so that use of the skatepark can continue.
“This is a public space, and it was built for a reason.
“We have a right to use it. It’s frustrating that people would continually try and sabotage it and stop people being outside in the fresh air, getting exercise in a community space.
“A bit of tolerance and understanding would be nice.”