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Government to spend $1.9m to build three new nature play spaces across ACT

By Lachlan Roberts 26 November 2018 34

The ACT Government will build three new nature play spaces in Phillip, Civic and Farrer. File Photo.

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.”


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34 Responses to
Government to spend $1.9m to build three new nature play spaces across ACT
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Mick Johnson 7:31 pm 27 Nov 18

this is better use of money than the twin person walk lights

streetlover 1:29 pm 27 Nov 18

The important take away message for me anyway is they’re recognising that play space is a real need and addressing that by investing resources (people will always quibble about how much and where and is it good value). Of course, we’d all love them to upgrade our own local (which has been stripped to the bone and left to decay despite being the only playground servicing a rapidly growing inner north suburb that’s regenerating and pulling in lots of families with little kids). The key thing to keep in mind here is that social infrastructure is a long term investment and is going to go through life cycles as populations wax and wane, so planning for community uses, clubs, arts and cultural experiences, recreation and play must keep up with population and demographic forecasts and be informed by what community service providers say is needed. There will inevitably be lags in delivery and patchy roll out, but if there’s no strategic plan we’re just flying blind.

Guy Noble 1:07 pm 27 Nov 18

600k a playground lmao,,,,, How did i live through the metal slippery dip, monkey bars, throwing tan bark years,,,, i must be blessed

Cathy Coe 9:12 am 27 Nov 18

Completely fails to mention that there will be accessibility upgrades to make more local playspaces appropriate for disabled children and adults. Thanks for writing people with disability out of existence again.

Pauline Clynch 8:20 am 27 Nov 18

Once upon a time kids in Canberra had backyards big enough to play in 🙁🙁🙁

    Julie Macklin 10:18 am 27 Nov 18

    Once upon a time people also lived in smaller houses allowing bigger backyards to play in. I see it where I live. Small houses, plenty of yard to play in; house knocked down and yard filled with MacMansion, which is considered a normal sized house now for a family. (Although many might only have one or two people living in them.) The first house I bought was 99 sq metres, three bedrooms and I bought it from a family of five. People would 'scream' if that was suggested as a first home now. I see it happening here. My first home as a child was a flat over shops. My second home was a small two bedroomed house, which allowed plenty of space for a small child to play, because the house was small; not what people build now.

    Pauline Clynch 12:25 pm 27 Nov 18

    Julie Macklin - totally agree.

bj_ACT 7:36 am 27 Nov 18

How about the ACT Government spend some money to replace the play areas they’ve taken away since coming into government.

You won’t believe this image labelling the kids play facilities they have taken away in 3 separate areas across Kambah. https://imgur.com/bzwTpjy

Lucy Baker 10:44 pm 26 Nov 18

All those poor kids who are going to be raised in flats instead of houses, thanks to Labor housing policy, will need to make use of them.

    Jim9 9:23 am 27 Nov 18

    There is nothing wrong with flats and apartments as a property choice. Europeans have lived in them for centuries and I don’t think, on average, there kids are any better or worse off as a result. However, it does need support with appropriate public facilities.

Dan Rowley 10:42 pm 26 Nov 18

So many older suburbs with terrible facilities desperately in need of updated facilities for kids of all ages and spaces for the local community to meet and get to know each other. Can only hope the spend covers all of Canberra with the areas most in need coming first.

    Helen Oakey 11:15 pm 26 Nov 18

    They are allocating about half the money to refreshes to extend the life of playgrounds and also amenity upgrades like shade cloths etc to make them better, and then the rest on nature play spaces and the 4 community engagement projects to plan what's next for that suburb. They have a list of every playground and what it needs to prioritise from. They can't afford to do them all - there are something like 300-400 playgrounds across Canberra (can't remember exactly how many!)

Maddison Farrawell 10:41 pm 26 Nov 18

So like are these gonna be fun or just like three metal poles in the ground with some safety rope connecting them.

Ben Roberts 8:15 pm 26 Nov 18

As always, Belconnen ignored again.

    Helen Oakey 10:44 pm 26 Nov 18

    Not really, Belconnen already has an awesome nature playspace, and Belco and Gungahlin between them have fabulous district playgrounds (Yerrabi Ponds, John Knight, CRIPS etc). The inner north hasn't got a district park at all, and pretty much every area was reviewed and prioritised for a reason. Also Higgins is getting a review and a bunch of other playgrounds are getting upgrades - the $1.9m isn't just going on 3 nature playgrounds.

    Simon Şpøørś 11:19 pm 26 Nov 18

    Where’s Belconnens nature play space?

    Ben Roberts 11:21 pm 26 Nov 18

    Yes, where is it Helen. John Knight is hardly a natural play space and besides, its 40 years old or thereabouts.

    Vanessa Jones 5:26 am 27 Nov 18

    Ben Roberts West Belconnen?

    Vanessa Jones 5:26 am 27 Nov 18

    Plus a new dog park for West Belconnen?

    Ben Roberts 6:07 am 27 Nov 18

    A dog park is hardly a mature playground for children.

    Eric Tenthorey 1:13 pm 03 Dec 18

    West Belconnen is a very recent area and should have recently built facilities. Plus it's super removed from everything so infrastructure spend probably wouldn't get used much. On the other hand, suburbs like Waramanga and woden areas are older and desperately need some refresh. These are also the next hot spots in terms of city expanding and exploding house prices...so money best spent there.

Louise Thackway 7:51 pm 26 Nov 18

Mike Hewson get on it

danr 4:25 pm 26 Nov 18

We’ll take some normal every day post 1980’s gear in Watson. We don’t need any of the $1.9M special gear you’re looking to roll out. We’d just like a few updated spaces in which kids of all ages can enjoy the equipment and the community can meet and socialise. Simple needs and very cost effective too.

John Moulis 4:22 pm 26 Nov 18

Not impressed. The money should have been used for building new fitness stations in suburbs which don’t have them. Kids have been pandered to enough.

    Jim9 9:21 am 27 Nov 18

    There are plenty of gyms around the place to be honest – I don’t see what aspect of fitness equipment truly is ‘public good’ like. Sure its great to have some fitness equipment around the place here and there, but I’d argue there isn’t a market failure there that really needs much government intervention either.

Rob Thomas 4:17 pm 26 Nov 18

I hate this too.

A_Cog 2:05 pm 26 Nov 18

What a load of rubbish – literally.

These “nature” play spaces are actually cheap faux-parks for govt to dump any removed tree trunks and surplus calverts and excess tanbark, and call it a “park”. Cynically ripping-off kids. Yes, there’s noting the ACT won’t stoop to.

The ACT Govt’s strip-mining of our society continues, but they’ve got bags of cash for
-the extra 8 MLAs we’ve now had for 25 months plus all their advisors
-all the extra execs in the two failed health agencies
-ditto duplicated execs in the two dodgy land agencies
-dockless bikes – WHAT A JOKE
-blowing money on dodgy Floriade contracts
-the Arboretum (gotta be close to $200m by now)
-$250m courts precinct – no, wait, its late and overbudget… $300m???
-$300m City East precinct for the pollies and bureaucrats to have their own little fortress
-……aaaand the tram, initially $680m, then $800m, now well over $1.1b (when the bus option was only going to cost $276m)

Emma Hannan 1:07 pm 26 Nov 18

Tuggeranong is well in need of some new or at least upgraded parks please

Vines & Wines 12:51 pm 26 Nov 18

Please please upgrade the park behind Ainslie shops! It’s terrible-like a piece of abstract art rather than a playground. And I hope the nature play elements will be better than what we got at Finn St park in O’Connor...some dead trees and rocks...

Rob Sanders 12:20 pm 26 Nov 18

"unstructured play experiences that can be creative and imaginative, using primary elements from the landscape, such as logs and rocks" also low maintenance cost. What a cop out, you go to a playground for play equipment, not logs and rocks. They use this to justify less play equipment in play spaces.

We have a playground in Wright, *ringed by high density apartments* that features one slide and two swings. No shade, no water, no fence, no bins, a couple of benches & partially shaded seating area. The mounds qualify as "play experiences" to make up the requirement of "10? play features". Tell that to the kids lining up to use the three actual items of play equipment.

Meg Joy 12:04 pm 26 Nov 18

Does anyone know what is happening regarding the park on corner of Heagney and Deamer in Chisholm. It was meant to be upgraded years ago after being saved from inappropriate development, in fact there was a design competition, but no sign so far . . .

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