Teens’ grassroots fight to save park cubby house
Two teenagers have petitioned Noosa Council not to tear down the “old school” treehouse they built at Peregian Beach park.
Ryley Diamond, 14 and his best mate Jarvis Barrett doorknocked their neighbours and received 58 signatures in support of preserving the popular gathering place for youth.
One supporter for their nonconforming timber platform built in the branches of a Lowry Park canopy tree was a local barrister, who provided the petition wording.
Ryley said their little getaway was built using leftovers from his family home renovations.
“We had a lot of excess wood under the house and my friend said he was thinking of building a cubby over there,” Ryley said.
“The next day we built the treehouse.
“We go over there just to have fun, hangout, have picnics. We were thinking of adding a sitting bench for it and maybe adding a roof.”
One of their biggest supporters is Ryley’s father Mark Diamond, a Qantas airline pilot who supervised the work.
Mark said the treehouse is a basic structure but a treasured place for the kids “to hang out and gives them something to do”.
“The things is, how fantastic is it that the boys are in the bush building a cubby house instead of sitting on their computers,” he said.
“There’s a bunch of kids who live around our street and you see them going in there all the time.
“From the street you can’t see it, you don’t even know it’s there. It’s all kept pretty clean.”
The boys sense of accomplishment soured when Mark and Ryley were in the park kicking a footy and saw a sign saying the treehouse’s days were numbered.
“The council may have had one complaint which I think is pretty miserable, but we’ve had the petition the boys took up that was signed by 58 people,” Mark said.
“Luckily they knocked on the door of barrister and she said this is what you need to write.
“So I’ve used her words in the petition and the boys have gone and got all the signatures themselves.”
Mark said the two boys have also built a cubby house at their school, St Andrew’s Anglican College in Peregian Springs, which was finally approved after they presented a case to the college as to why it would be of benefit to its users.
“One week they’re being lauded for what they’ve done and then the next week the council wants to tear another cubby house down,” he said.
Mark said there had been no complaints of parties in the area that he is aware of.
Ryley hopes local neighbourhood support has the final say on the matter, thanks to their petition.
“Most of the people said ‘that’s a great idea, I don’t see why people want to take it down’,”
Only two people would not sign because the cubby was built on council land.
The petition has been presented to council by Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie for the “appropriate action” and a spokesman said it is standard policy not to comment on petitions.