Emma Cordner loves spending time on the playground with her grandma Karen Williams. Photo by Richard Gosling
Emma Cordner loves spending time on the playground with her grandma Karen Williams. Photo by Richard Gosling

No monkey business: Playgrounds facing cull

SLIDES, shade sails and monkey bars are facing a cull in city playgrounds as the Gold Coast council looks at overhauling its parks.

The traditional playground equipment will be replaced with "natural environments dominated by vegetation and interesting landforms".

The council is spending about $30,000 on a strategy to upgrade parks and remove outdated equipment.

Not all slides will be banished, but standard playgrounds kits will be targeted as the council looks to meet demand and needs for each area.

"We have to look at the experiences at parks throughout the city because that's what (people) come for, the experience," Palm Beach councillor Daphne McDonald said.

"Because some parks are so popular they are being loved to death and that's the whole issue with those parks so we have to start spreading them through the city."

A report presented to the Community Services Committee detailed a huge number of the city's 500-plus parks were being underused.

"Most equipment was used for less than 15 minutes a day, and some was not used at all," the report reads.

The move away from playground equipment also means fewer parks will have a jungle gym.

"Successful playgrounds require the integration of a range of elements, including landscaping, shade and under-surfacing to achieve visual appeal, variety and a stimulating play environment," the report reads.

"Shade structures are not an ideal long-term solution to the need to provide shade, as they are prone to damage from weather events, vandalism and can be quite expensive to maintain."

Instead, they could be replaced by trees planted near the playground equipment.

At Burleigh Beach is Emma Cordner (4) with her grandma Karen Williams. Photo by Richard Gosling
At Burleigh Beach is Emma Cordner (4) with her grandma Karen Williams. Photo by Richard Gosling

 

Four-year-old Emma Cordner could not get enough of the slide when she visited a Burleigh park with her grandmother, Karen Williams.

"She particularly loves this park," Ms Williams said.

"She just loves all the climbing and being able to play on the 'surfboard'."

The most popular parks in the city are the mega parks like the Pirate Park in Palm Beach and Broadwater Parklands, Southport.

Planning committee chairman Cameron Caldwell said the city needed more than just the large parks.

"We don't need booming mega parks and then only have three of them and direct everyone to drive to them, that's not the right outcome," he said.

It would also increase the congestion on the roads, he added.

 

Brothers Felix van Wijk, 5, and Noah van Wijk, 7, playing at the playground at the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa. Picture: Jerad Williams
Brothers Felix van Wijk, 5, and Noah van Wijk, 7, playing at the playground at the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Benowa. Picture: Jerad Williams

 

Cr McDonald said many parents in her area often sought a smaller park.

"You have the neighbourhood park where mum just wants to take the kids down the swing," she said.

"Then you have the bigger parks which offer an experience like the Pirate Park."

The council will spend the next few months reviewing the city's parks to determine what is needed in each area.

An average of $3 million is spent each year maintaining and upgrading parks across the city.

The council will vote on the proposal tomorrow.

News Corp Australia


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