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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1453..


Answers to questions

Playgrounds-guidelines

(Question No 121)

Ms Tucker asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice:

In relation to the Department of Urban Services' guidelines for playgrounds:

(1) What guidelines does the Department of Urban Services use for determining the location of children's playgrounds near lakes and ponds.

(2) How were these guidelines developed in relation to the safety of young children playing near water.

(3) What are the (a) locations of children's playgrounds in Canberra that would be within 50 metres of a lake or pond, and (b) what distance would these playgrounds be from the water.

(4) What incidents have been reported over the last 5 years of children getting into difficulty in the water near these playgrounds.

Mr Wood: The answer to Ms Tucker's question is as follows:

There are approximately 450 playgrounds in the ACT and as the city expands more are being installed. All playgrounds are, and have been, installed in accordance with the relative Australian Standards available at the time. Since 1991 the ACT government has been progressively upgrading playgrounds identified as requiring refurbishment to meet the current standards.

The answers to each part of the question are as follows:

1. When siting playgrounds in the ACT, the Department of Urban Services adhere to Australian Standards AS 1657, AS 1924.1 & .2, AS/NZS 4422 and AS/NZS 4486 and incorporate the guidelines from Section 15 of the ACT Government Standard Specification for Urban Infrastructure Works. These guidelines have been prepared to provide additional information and guidance on the design requirements and safety standards for playground facilities on land owned and managed by the ACT government. Where there are irregularities between the documents, the option with the safest outcome is to be adopted as required on a site-specific basis.

Variations from or additions to the Australian Standards within these guidelines are the result of:

accounting for environmental conditions specific to the ACT region

ACT planning requirements for the allocation and location of playgrounds

planning for age appropriate play equipment in ACT open space

using accumulated knowledge to target high-risk accident and injury types that occur within children's playgrounds that are not currently addressed in detail by the Australian Standards.


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