Susan Templeman encourages community to have say on improving local parks

With Hawkesbury residents spending more time than ever in local parks, Federal Macquarie MP Susan Templeman is asking the community on how they can be improved.

Following recent conversations Ms Templeman has been having with locals who have regularly been using parks and outdoor spaces throughout lockdown, she has put together a survey for the community to comment on what they would like to see in the area.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman with locals William Potts and Riley Cotter in Bligh Park. Picture: Supplied.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman with locals William Potts and Riley Cotter in Bligh Park. Picture: Supplied.

"I thought it was a great opportunity to ask people what they think is working and what isn't, what needs improving, and what's missing," Ms Templeman said.

"That's why I decided to put together a survey that people can fill out online so we can start a conversation about what facilities are needed in our community."

Bligh Park teenagers, William Potts and Riley Cotter, are two local residents who will be having their say on the issue.

Both are active in athletics and keen bike riders, and would like to see an increase in outdoor facilities for teenagers.

William's mum, Sharyn Potts, said facilities that encouraged teens to get outside and be active were badly needed.

"We need somewhere for the kids to go where they feel like they're doing something, and are a part of something," she said.

"We need facilities that encourage children across different age groups to get off the phone or off the computer and get active outside."

Ms Templeman said some bike riders like William and Riley had been disappointed with the recent destruction of home-built bike jumps and paths in nearby bush, and that a conversation is needed around providing legal facilities that could be enjoyed by the whole community.

"When facilities aren't provided, people sometimes take it upon themselves to try and fill the gap, which sometimes results in something that isn't permissible by local authorities," she said.

"I had a huge response to my survey on social media over the weekend, with so many suggestions for facilities - from outdoor basketball courts to bike tracks, to simple facilities like seating and shelter.

"I'd like everyone to have the opportunity to share what facilities they'd like to see and help start this really important conversation, which has to happen at three levels of government, and I hope we can all engage in a collaborative discussion that gets the best results for Hawkesbury residents."

Residents can access the survey here: form.jotform.com/212868286463972