More inclusive playgrounds for Inner West

Inner West Council

Inclusive playgrounds will be established in all five wards of Inner West Council local government area.

At last night’s Council Meeting, Councillors unanimously agreed to identify playground upgrades in each ward that could be appropriately developed as an inclusive play space, including King Georges Park in Rozelle.

Council opened its first inclusive playground in 2019.

That playground, in Steel Park, was designed in collaboration with locals and the Touched By Olivia Foundation, which assists communities to create special places that encourage and invite social inclusion through play.

“All children have a right to play, but a lack of accessibility in local playgrounds can prohibit many children living with disability from doing so,” said Councillor Mat Howard, who moved the motion.

“We can do better. We can work with children with disability and our Social Strategy Advisory Committee in designing better play spaces that responds to and meets the needs of the community.

Council will allocate $50,000 this year for consultation, planning and design, and $2 million next year for construction.

Staff will also seek out further grant and funding opportunities.

“The NSW Government has developed Everyone Can Play guidelines, with associated grant funding, to help councils and organisations develop inclusive play spaces,” said Councillor Howard.

“That’s a great place for us to start. In fact, we were successful in obtaining $200,000 to fund inclusive play improvements at Darrell Jackson Gardens in 2020-2021. That’s being built right now and is scheduled to be completed in July.”

Council will soon commence a Playground Strategy ‘Lets Play!’ which will guide Council’s future playground works program. The provision of inclusive playgrounds will be a central focus of the strategy.

“I look forward to a time – in the not too distant future – when we have inclusive playgrounds throughout the Inner West,” Councillor Howard said.

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