Deputy Speaker, Ocean Grove in my electorate is a beautiful coastal township with a rapidly growing population.
It will soon reach 20,000, when you include the neighbouring township across the Barwon River, Barwon Heads.
But, while there are many thousands of young families living in Ocean Grove, there is one thing missing: a bike park for all the young enthusiastic bike riders. Last week, I met with a fantastic group of Ocean Grove families who have formed a committee to establish a bike park in the town. The committee chair, Ryan Dodson, told me that, right now, kids are building illegitimate bike tracks everywhere. Instead, what these families need is a council backed bike park.
It is essential, particularly during COVID, when there is a great need for young people to have a safe recreational place to connect and support one another. Mr Dodson and the committee have rightly pointed out that the bike park will improve health, wellbeing and resilience for all those who use it. As a former counsellor and mayor, I've supported many a bike park and I have seen just how vital they are in bringing a community together. This is a hugely important project.
I will be urging the newly elected Geelong council to get behind this project and be involved in a community engagement process to determine options for a location, and I commit to working with the motivated community committee to get this project underway.