Ballina to get a new, safer playground
COMMUNITY concern surrounding a popular playground in Ballina not being fully fenced are about to be squashed.
Ballina's Fawcett Park Playground was in the midst of being transformed into a bigger and better space for children to adventure on, in a safer setting.
The popular playground on the banks of the Richmond River has provided fun for many children over the past 14-years, and its makeover will see the playground remain closed until the end of the month (weather permitting).
Ballina Shire Council Mayor David Wright said the fencing of the new, boat themed multi-play structure would provide a larger space for contained and active play, while being an inclusive and socially responsible play space for the whole community.
"There was some concern that the playground was not fully fenced," Mayor Wright said.
"Parents may be concerned about non-gated fencing but we strongly encourage that children be supervised at playgrounds at all times.
"This decision is in line with risk assessments carried out for insurance and safety purposes and is considered best practice, even considering the playground's proximity to the river."
The new structure will ignite children's imaginations and the layout and basket swings will encourage inclusive play for young children of all abilities. The new playground will also have shade sails to provide safety and sun protection.
Mayor Wright said the playground was being replaced in accordance with council's playground upgrade plan and delivery program that identify priority playgrounds each financial year to provide the best possible playgrounds to cater for the needs of our community from councils playground budget.
"We can't grant everyone's wishes who are seeking large parks that are seen in other areas," he said.
"We're not a big regional or city council, we have a smaller rate-base and smaller budgets ... we will providing larger regional sized playgrounds where space allows such as Pop Denison Park.
"We are also aiming to shade all of our playgrounds when they come up for renewal."
Ballina Shire Council's Open Spaces Development Officer Luke Marshall said the new playground will be larger, covering an area of approximately 177m2.
"It will also have more play elements, " he said.
To explore other playgrounds in the Ballina Shire visit ballina.nsw.gov.au and search playgrounds.