ROWVILLE is a wasteland for young people despite being a booming area for growing families, claims a long-time resident campaigning for a skate park in the area.
Gaye Helpin has lived in Rowville for 20 years and believes the suburb is in dire need of a communal meeting place for young people.
She wants Knox Council to build a skate and BMX park at Emerson Reserve, opposite Wellington Village shopping centre.
Her campaign, which is being jointly run with youth advocate Anthony Osborne, has quickly attracted attention from young people on Facebook with 133 'likes' as of Tuesday this week.
"I just feel there is nothing here for young ones. There are a lot of skaties, a lot of BMX kids and we have the perfect location here," Ms Helpin said.
She said young people used a car park at a Rowville Baptist church as a skate park.
Mr Osborne, a candidate at last year's council elections, said he joined the campaign because he believed it would help address antisocial behaviour in Rowville.
"Growing up here, I know for a fact there is not a lot to do," he said.
But Cr Darren Pearce, who defeated Mr Osborne last year, said it was simply a political stunt.
"It's all right for Mr Osborne. He is not and never has been a ratepayer in this city," Cr Pearce said. "There is currently a backlog of capital works right across the city and there are limited funds."
He said the second stage of the Emerson Reserve master plan — which cost $250,000 — was about to begin.
However, Cr Nicole Seymour expressed support for the campaign.
She said she recognised there was a "really big gap" in providing activities for young people, particularly between the ages of 10 and 17 — "they fall between the cracks".
Cr Seymour said one of the key concerns of residents during the council election campaign last year was the lack of facilities for young people.
"We need something constructive, positive and engaging for young people. A skate park would be a good idea.There is sometimes the perception that people hanging out take part in unsavoury behaviour, but I don't believe that."