The ACT Government is set to spend $1.9m to build three new nature play spaces and upgrade 24 playgrounds across the nation’s capital, with a community-led forum deciding how it will be spent as part of the Better Suburbs consultation program.
The decision on how to spend the $1.9 million of Government-allocated money was placed in the hands of a community-led Play Spaces Forum, with parents and carers of children in the Canberra community voicing their hopes for new and improved playgrounds in their suburbs.
The Forum reviewed detailed information about all of the suburbs that included existing quality and diversity of play spaces in the suburb, ages catered for play in the suburb and whether school playgrounds in the suburbs were open to the public.
As a result of the Forum’s recommendations, Minister for City Services Chris Steel said three new nature play spaces will be built at Eddison Park in Phillip, Glebe Park in the heart of the city and near the local shops in the south Canberra suburb of Farrer.
“We know that Canberra families love their local playgrounds, and the ACT Government is committed to investing more to upgrade playgrounds right across the city,” Mr Steel said.
“The Forum particularly wanted to support new nature play spaces in two of our growing town centres to enhance Eddison Park in Woden and Glebe Park in the City as a destination for children and their families.
“These new play areas add to Canberra’s extensive playground network and will enhance children’s physical health and wellbeing by providing opportunities for social skills and motor skill development.”
Mr Steel said the natural play spaces will provide unstructured play experiences that can be creative and imaginative, using primary elements from the landscape, such as logs and rocks, to encourage children to climb, jump, explore and develop their coordination skills.
24 suburbs across Canberra will also receive upgrades to existing parks and playgrounds such as shade sails, new benches and tables, upgraded footpaths, and fences to be installed at eight playgrounds.
Mr Steel said that the Government supported the Play Space’s Forum’s call for a more strategic approach to playground upgrades in the ACT and will conduct suburb play space reviews in Richardson, Waramanga, Torrens, Narrabundah and Higgins.
“The suburb play space reviews will be an important opportunity to work closely with established communities, to look at all of the existing play spaces in each suburb and how better quality play spaces can be provided that meet the needs of local children and families,” he said.
“I’m pleased that as part of this work we will also be able to fund the detailed design for a new playground in Waramanga.”