Youth vote for Junction upgrades

A jumping pillow, a zip line, and a link to the Tumut pump track; Tumut High School Year 9 students have grand plans for Junction Park.

Last November, 69 THS Year 9 students voted on the ideas they most wanted to pitch to the Snowy Valleys Council, voting in favor of the Junction Park upgrades by a clear majority (63.7%).

The pitch was submitted to Council Thursday afternoon, through the Tumut Youth Council minutes, and the mayor James Hayes said the council will revisit the idea of linking the pump track to the popular swimming hole.

“Council will certainly look at that,” Cr Hayes said. “We actually raised that with Snowy Hydro some time ago when it was just a pipe dream.”

In the original discussion, Cr Hayes said the council looked at mixing sludge from the Snowy Hydro tunneling process with cement to build a bike track to the Junction.

“The problem is we don’t know if there is enough space on the side of the road (Tumut Plains Road) to actually fit the track in,” explained Mayor Hayes.

“Certainly it’s on our radar and has been for a long time. We acknowledge it would be a very useful track.”

The Junction Park upgrades were chosen from a short-list which also included upgrades to the Tumut netball courts, more toilet facilities (especially at the Bull paddock and in Batlow), improved river access and signage, a computer area and a hangout space.

On the longer list were upgrades to the Tumut Skate Park, a heated pool and free public wifi.

The Youth Council wrote in their minutes that they were surprised “the idea of a youth hub or dedicated hangout area was not supported with only two students believing they would use it and/or it would get adequately utilised.”

River access was also identified as a significant issue, with students asking for signs or booklets to better outline legal fishing areas along the Tumut River “so the community could fish without potentially trespassing.” They felt that “this would also benefit the SVC region through tourism as many [tourists] come to Tumut to fish but are unaware where they can go outside the stretch from the racecourse to the Riverglade Caravan Park.”

Other suggestions, like a paintball arena and a zoo, were canned in the planning stage, being deemed too “unattainable/unrealistic” to bring forward to Council.