15 September 2023

Design plans for large district playground in Inner North released for comment

| Claire Fenwicke and Travis Radford
Join the conversation
location of Watson's new major playground

The new major playground will be located near Canberra’s Technology Park. Photo: ACT Government.

Open green space next to Canberra’s Technology Park will soon be transformed into a large district-level playground.

Construction is slated to start next year, with draft design plans released to receive community feedback.

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said a “clear gap” had been identified in the Inner North when it came to large playgrounds for children and families to enjoy.

“This draft design for a new major playground has been shaped by earlier community feedback with a range of features including play opportunities, recreational elements, gathering and picnicking spaces and key access routes such as accessible parking and paths,” he said.

The play space will be built on the green space adjacent to Canberra Technology Park and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) in Watson, which comprises more than 22,000 sqm.

The Watson site was selected because of its location close to the Phillip Avenue light rail stop, future Garden City Cycle Route, the Watson shops and to complement a future park on Aspinall Street.

Proximity to these services was one of several reasons the Watson site was selected over nine other potential Inner North sites that did not meet all of the government’s criteria.

READ ALSO Nine-year-old card game developer’s cheeky rendition of Go Fish tops local best-selling list

Key features of the draft design include:

  • Play space including swinging, climbing, agility and group play elements
  • Elements for older children, including opportunities for skating
  • Fitness equipment targeting body strength and circuit training
  • Open grassed area for informal kickabout and gatherings
  • Two multi-use courts – one full size and one half-size for a range of activities such as tennis, basketball, handball and hopscotch
  • Amenities including shelter, three-phase power, accessible seating, barbecue, drinking fountains and bins
  • Accessible toilet/restroom with baby change facilities
  • Concrete paths, on-street parking spaces, bike parking and two accessible parking spaces
Inner North preliminary playground design

The preliminary design for a major playground in Canberra’s Inner North has been released. Photo: ACT Government.

ACT Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said the community told the government they wanted the design to reflect the personality of the Inner North.

“Inspiration has been taken from the nearby Mount Majura Nature Reserve and its native Glossy Black-Cockatoo influencing the colour palette of the playground,” he said.

“We are also retaining the existing trees around the perimeter of the site and planting approximately 90 new trees.”

READ ALSO Neighbourhood democracy pilot program kicks off to find ‘little big’ ideas

Initial engagement was carried out on the proposed play space was held in late 2021, with 570 submissions received.

Region previously reported that the government was looking to spend about $2 million on the play space’s construction, and the successful tenderer was expected to include over-budget proposals.

However, AIE promised to contribute to the cost of the two multi-use courts so it can expand and develop a new purpose-built campus to serve as its global headquarters.

The technology park will also be revitalised, with its green space protected and enhanced, under an agreement between the ACT Government and AIE.

Consultation is now underway on the draft design, with a number of pop-up sessions scheduled before engagement closes on Wednesday 25 October.

Feedback can be provided via YourSay Conversations or by emailing communityengagement@act.gov.au.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

I can feel an election coming on!

The land of promises. Nothing ever happens during on election cycle for 49% of canberra.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.