READY TO SKATE: (From left) Nathan Pennington, Shannon Craig, Cameron Pennington and Corey Pennington can't wait to use the new Torbanlea skate park.
READY TO SKATE: (From left) Nathan Pennington, Shannon Craig, Cameron Pennington and Corey Pennington can't wait to use the new Torbanlea skate park. Eliza Wheeler

Long-awaited skate park to open in Torbanlea

THE kids of Torbanlea will be given a $65,000 Christmas present this year, when the long-awaited skate park opens up in their town tomorrow.

The finishing touches are being done on the new park, found between Robertson St and the train line, and is expected to be open to excited skaters at midday on Christmas eve.

"It seems like we've been waiting forever," 15-year-old Ronny Williamson said.

"We're all pretty keen to get in and use it."

Until now, kids in Torbanlea have been forced to make their way into the neighbouring town of Howard to use a skate park, about 8km away.

The journey involved crossing a busy bridge with no pedestrian lanes.

Young skater Shannon Craig said this time of year made the ride to Howard particularly tough.

"It's really, really hot when you ride all that way," Shannon said.

"We'll still go [to Howard] to swim but this'll be a lot easier when we just want to skate."

Torbanlea parents and kids fought for a skate park in their town for almost five years, and in October the Fraser Coast Regional Council announced they had received the needed funding to grant the town's wish.

Division one Councillor James Hansen said while it was believed the park wouldn't open until early 2016, the building materials came in early, bringing forward the opening date.

"It's great timing with the school holidays," Cr Hansen said.

"The fact is there are a lot of kids there who had nothing to do, so this gives them something and this makes the town more family friendly."



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