Better rides would be just the ticket

Claudia, 11, wants to see more exciting rides for kids her age at Greater Dandenong events. 108218 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

DEMOCRACY can be a bit of a roller-coaster but it’s not the most exciting of rides for Springvale Rise Primary School Year 5 pupil Claudia.
The 11-year-old squrimed patiently in the Springvale civic chamber gallery as she waited until near the end of last Monday’s three-hour Greater Dandenong Council meeting for her public question time query to be read out.
In a rare act of civic participation for one so young, she asked if some more exciting rides suitable for her age group could be made available at the council’s family festivals.
The recent Little Day Out at Ross Reserve, Noble Park, with attractions such as a cup-and-saucer ride and jungle maze was a thrill-a-minute for Claudia’s two-year-old brother, but not for her.
“I like the Spiderman ride, the Rockster which goes round and round really fast,” she later told the Journal.
“Lots of fast rides, older-kid rides. And the Ghost Tour ride – any ride that is exciting.”
She’d filled in a survey on the day, giving feedback on how to improve the day – and the rides.
But she and her friends decided they needed to take more action.
At the meeting, community services director Mark Doubleday welcomed her feedback, saying council staff had already met with Claudia to discuss the issue.
He hoped the rides list would be sampled across a range of ages prior to future festivals.
Claudia, who is the step-daughter of councillor Sean O’Reilly, said the consultation was a good idea.
“But you know how he said ’maybe’? I was thinking to myself I hope he does it!”
She admitted the council meeting, which dragged past 10pm, was “long and boring – though it got exciting when (the councillors) were fighting” (over the probe into councillors).
“If there’s anything else that comes up, I’ll put in another question.
“I’ll turn up again for the answer but it’s a bit long and boring.”
However Claudia stopped short of following in her dad’s footsteps and running for public office.
“I’d rather go to bed and sleep.”
– Cameron Lucadou-Wells