Page 182 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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As I mentioned yesterday, I hope there are more opportunities to address our community challenges through providing more community involvement as well as more private sector involvement. I am sure there are local businesses out there that have some capacity to support, directly or indirectly, our playgrounds. Let us see what we can do.

We also have challenges, as Minister Rattenbury has noted, to renew and refresh our playgrounds across the city. Different approaches and broader community input will be very welcome. I will look forward to working with the community and with the minister on improving our local playgrounds. I thank Mrs Jones for moving this motion today.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.04): I thank Mrs Jones for bringing forward this motion today. In my electorate of Brindabella there are a number of playgrounds on which the local communities would welcome consultation. I will mention four quick examples that Mr Rattenbury may be able to use in his consultations. I would be happy to work with him on this.

The treated pine play equipment at Beardsmore Place in Gowrie was removed some years ago. In correspondence I received from Minister Rattenbury he confirmed that this playground was due to be replaced during 2012-13 but said this had been deferred due to higher priorities.

Secondly, another constituent advised that he had contacted TAMS many years ago regarding rotting timber and general degradation of the playground in Newman-Morris Circuit in Oxley. He was advised then that the playground was in the top five per cent in the ACT in line for replacement, but this did not happen. I wrote to Minister Rattenbury on this issue. He replied to say that, although ageing, the equipment was safe and functional, before going on to say that the fort would be removed and replaced with natural play elements such as tree logs. It reminds me a little of Monty Python’s four Yorkshiremen skit where you say: “Oh, you have tree logs to play on. Luxury. We only dreamed of having tree logs.” I think they would actually prefer some play equipment to be installed there.

Thirdly, residents in Fadden near Fadden pond have also advised me—and I have already passed these comments on to Minister Rattenbury—that they feel some of the equipment at Fadden pond playground is not particularly suitable for very small children. For example, it is difficult for parents, grandparents or carers to get close to the equipment because of some rope equipment surrounding it. It is hard for them to help small children climb up and down the equipment. They would also like a shaded area, a barbecue and a picnic table to help enjoy the area at Fadden pond. I have consulted with residents in this area and that is what they would like.

Fourthly, Gordon park, near the pond, is another area where the flying fox has been problematic. Nearby residents, as well as people who come from further afield, have been disappointed when they find the flying fox closed. Consultation with the local community would help identify options for the future. I understand that in many cases vandalism and bad behaviour make some playgrounds unusable temporarily or in the longer term, and I understand that is the case with the flying fox. But these are basic

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