Page 1490 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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• Teaching and Learning

• Teacher Supply and Retention

• Professional Learning

• Program Development

• Quality Assurance

• Advocacy and Promotion of Language Learning.

(Question No 43)

Ms Hunter asked the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, upon notice, on 11 February 2009:

(1) What is the status of the review into the ACT Playgrounds, which held community consultation on Tuesday, 14 October 2008, to make them more accessible and inclusive to children of all abilities.

(2) Will the feedback and/or report of this review be publicly available.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The ACT Government manages over 450 playgrounds throughout the ACT. Whilst all of these conform to the relevant standards in force at the time of their construction, the Playground Safety Program, a progressive upgrade program, renews playgrounds to meet current Australian and ACT Standards for playgrounds.

An essential element in the provision of public play spaces is that play is accessible and inclusive to all children and their carers.

Since 2004, the design of play spaces has changed to align with contemporary approaches to play. This approach provides play on a range of levels including social, emotional, mental and physical, to children with a broad range of physical and mental abilities.

In December 2007, in conjunction with the Human Rights Commission, the ACT Government undertook initial community consultation on accessible and inclusive public play spaces in the ACT. The consultation, facilitated by the Disability and Community Services and Children and Young People’s Commissioner, provided valuable background information and community opinion.

In August 2008 the ACT Government commissioned the provision of further information about improvements that could be undertaken to make ACT play spaces more accessible and inclusive and to provide a Strategic Plan to enable implementation of the improvements.

In October 2008 further community consultation was undertaken with individuals and peak interest groups. A review of ACT play spaces was also undertaken. The information gathered from these consultations and play space review has informed the Draft “Accessible and Inclusive Playgrounds in the ACT’ Strategy.

(2) ACT Government and community review of the draft strategy is currently underway, having commenced on 21 February 2009. To enable broad community comment the

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