Nestled in the centre of Tuggeranong in Canberra's south is a skate spot turned skate park called Erindale Brick Banks. For the last 3 decades, whenever touring skate teams have bothered coming through Canberra, it's been a safe bet that they'll visit Erindale. Tony Hawk and the Bones Brigade even did a demo there in 1988, and for decades now the spot has been showing up in ads, magazines and video parts. If you've watched a lot of skate videos, you've probably seen it a stack already.
The banks are the last remaining of many that were built around the area by students of a technical college in the 80s. Apparently their purpose was for students to learn complex brickwork with curves and transition. It was never intended for skateboarding, but by chance it happened to be the perfect terrain for it. Sometime during the early 90's, the place was eventually modified and turned into a legitimate skatepark.
Scott Brown front rock - Pic The Drew
These days it doesn't look like much. The surrounding skatepark is dated and the entire area is a bit run down. Admittedly, from an outsider's perspective, it must be difficult to understand the significance of the spot to skateboarders. That said, there are things that have always remained the same about the place. The uniqueness of the brick banks, the challenge of skating them, and their aesthetic in photos and videos. You just couldn't replicate any of that in a purpose built skatepark. It is an iconic Australian skate spot if there ever was one.
Cards Tent City Trip - Pic Potty
Unfortunately, the end may be near for the Brick Banks. The Erindale Group Centre Master Plan released in 2012 has the area potentially earmarked for a new road when the land is released for development. Recently there have been some rumblings about the land around Erindale finally being released. It's probably only considered to be a replaceable old skatepark to the company that want to develop over it. Losing such a unique and historic skateboarding spot would be a shame beyond description.
Luke Newman - Pic Drew Peacock
Earlier this year an application was submitted by the Canberra Skateboarding Association to the ACT Heritage council so that the Brick Banks could be nominated and then hopefully listed on the heritage register. The application was accepted and the Brick Banks are now listed as "nominated". What this means is that the spot has some temporary protections with caveats while the Heritage Council decides if the banks will be listed a fully fledged heritage location.
Peabody - Pic Luke Brown
In a perfect world, it would be great to see the banks preserved and a new skatepark built around it, much like the Belco Bowl when Belco skatepark was rebuilt in 2011. The fate of the Erindale Brick Banks is up in the air until we know the outcome of the heritage nomination. Until then we just need to hope for the best and make the most of them while they're still around. Grab your broom and your board and come to Canberra to skate at this epic spot before it's too late.
Next generation doing their bit to save Erindale.