Wyndham council chambers could have been mistaken for a pirate-themed birthday party on Monday night, as a crowd of children dressed as pirates flocked to the council meeting campaigning for the rebuilding of the Point Cook pirate playground.
Moments before the meeting began, the children chanted “we want a boat”, making clear their opposition to the council’s proposed ghost ship sculpture to replace the original structure at Bayview Park Reserve. The original timber pirate ship was destroyed in an arson attack in September last year.
As the meeting began, two community petitions were tabled calling on the council to rebuild the original pirate ship structure, again in wood rather than a proposed steel version.
Cr Glenn Goodfellow said it was important to provide a structure within the expectation of both community and council.
“We need to consult further to move into the next stage, to finalise detail and actually build the ship the community – and we as council – expect to be there,” he said.
“I’m confident we are now in a position to move forward on this.”
Cr Goodfellow said it was important the new structure minimised opportunities for antisocial behaviour.
Cr Adele Hegedich also expressed her concerns with antisocial behaviour at the park.
“I’m going to be blunt; the old ship is gone now and forever and we’re not going to get it back,” she said.
“We as a community and council can now make an even better play space for children – but something that doesn’t attract antisocial behaviour.
“Council officers shouldn’t have to pick up rubbish, condoms and used syringes daily. We want a place that children can have fun in, a first-rate space to be enjoyed by all again.”
A round of applause from the gallery followed Cr Intaj Khan’s comments, as he expressed his disappointment that the council couldn’t build the pirate ship the community wanted.
“They’re asking for a simple thing; they’re asking us to build the original pirate ship,” he said.