Heads residents go around in circles pursuing BMX pump track

KEEN FOR A TRACK: Local residents Leo, Tom and Will Fletcher at Jerry Bailey Oval at Shoalhaven Heads on Thursday. Picture: Rebecca Fist
KEEN FOR A TRACK: Local residents Leo, Tom and Will Fletcher at Jerry Bailey Oval at Shoalhaven Heads on Thursday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

FOR more than 32 years, Shoalhaven Heads community members have been waiting patiently to build a BMX pump track at Jerry Bailey Oval, dreamed up by a local boy, to be funded by local building and construction businesses.

But the Heads community is still waiting for Shoalhaven City Council’s approval, and patience is wearing thin.

Many were shocked by council’s recent approval of a BMX pump track in Berry, to be incorporated into a $4 million recreational complex.

“I was surprised alright,” Heads resident Mike Howard said.

“Based on the fact we’ve had children instigating the pump track idea here for over 32 years ago, it really felt like a slap in the face.”

Jerry Bailey Oval, Shoalhaven Heads, where some residents would like to see a BMX pump track located.

Jerry Bailey Oval, Shoalhaven Heads, where some residents would like to see a BMX pump track located.

Heads locals have suggested the best place for the track is on land near the Learn to Ride track and skate park, zoned for recreational use. 

“There is plenty of space for it, the gully area would be perfect,” Mr Howard said.

The late Scott Morrison, who became famous for his Christmas light displays, was the brainchild of the Heads BMX pump track.

At age 11 in 1986, Scott sent plans and a petition to the mayor, who later met with him to discuss possible sites for the track.

Sadly, Scott was killed in a car accident in 2014.

Plans drawn up by the late Scott Morrison courtesy of his parents Bonnie and Grahame

Plans drawn up by the late Scott Morrison courtesy of his parents Bonnie and Grahame

The community has taken up the mantle, and young boys with the same dream as Scott are on the job.

Shoalhaven Heads Public School students Leo, Tom and Will Fletcher (above) would love to have a BMX track in their suburb. Tom, 12, is writing a petition with classmates, and intends on presenting it to council.

Tom, Leo and Will’s mum, Heidi, hopes council and community members can cooperate to get the project off the ground.

“There’s no access to a train line here so it’s really important to have other options in town to get the kids outside,” Mrs Fletcher said.

“My kids would use it, and it would be an attraction for tourists who stay in the council-owned caravan park across the road.

“Council doesn’t even have to pay for it. There are building and construction businesses willing to build it.”

Tom, Will, Heidi and Leo Fletcher at Shoalhaven Heads on Thursday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Tom, Will, Heidi and Leo Fletcher at Shoalhaven Heads on Thursday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

On Wednesday, council staff met with the Shoalhaven Heads Community Forum to continue discussions on the idea.

“We’re looking to help communities build pump tracks in Berry and Shoalhaven Heads,” Council’s community and recreation unit manager Susan Edwards said.

“Neither are funded by council, we are assisting the community in developing the plans.

“They’re community-based projects which is fantastic. It’s something we encourage.

“We’re not going to please everyone, but we try to engage with them all.

“We have a good partnership with the Shoalhaven Heads Community Forum and we want to continue that.”

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