Page 181 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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also a rigorous response system for public inquiries through Canberra Connect and fix my street. TAMS also apply the Australian and ACT playground safety standards and undertake regular assessments and use the information from these to develop an asset management plan.

Playground upgrades consider the need for providing accessible, diverse, stimulating and manageable play spaces which foster healthy, social, physical and mental child development. The government is focused on ensuring that our playgrounds are well maintained and safe for public use at all times. To achieve this, TAMS is also delivering an ongoing playground renewal program that focuses on improving ACT play spaces. Again, this program is in line with Australian and ACT standards as well as best practice contemporary play space design.

Community input is a primary factor in determining the end result of a playground renewal and is conducted routinely each time a full playground upgrade is planned. Community feedback also guides the design of each play space and may be sought on a range of issues, such as the type of equipment, whether there is artwork to be included, the design theme and so on. Each community is different and each play space is individually designed to meet the needs of the local community, wherever possible.

Similarly, where playgrounds require repair or removal due to age, safety or low usage, a sign will be erected at the playground advising the community of the intended repair or removal. Notices may also be posted in a variety of media, such as community notice boards, community newsletters, regional newspapers and media releases. The community will be invited to provide comment on the potential impact of any intended playground removal or upgrade. As the amendment notes, meaningful community consultation will be undertaken on all playground renewal or removals and information advising on the outcome of the consultation process will be made publicly available.

I talked about playgrounds briefly yesterday in my inaugural speech. I have spoken with Minister Rattenbury already and offered my help to him to work with the community and with local organisations to help inform the playground strategy he has mentioned today. I hope I can work across Canberra and hear from local parents and kids about what they want from their local playgrounds. I hope we can visit a range of playgrounds across the city and see the variety. I would also love to hear from people about the sorts of playgrounds they have visited in other cities and towns.

I am interested in exploring whether there are different sorts of playgrounds that we could consider establishing—natural playgrounds where kids can explore differently, say, with wood and rocks. There are more of these types of playgrounds being constructed across the country. Perhaps we can consider new ways of investing in and maintaining our parks. I know that Ms Berry and Ms Porter have spoken about the Holt community park carers in this place—locals looking after their own local park, taking stewardship and pride in their local areas. This is a great model and offers practical advantages as well as community building and social capital advantages. This is a great model that empowers our community.

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