About the Project
The playground at Andrew Park is programmed for design in Councils Draft Capital Works Program for 2023/24 financial year. The playground will be temporarily closed, with unsafe park elements being removed until upgrades take place. The remaining sections of the playground will be re-opened for use after these safety improvements have taken place.
Consultation regarding the design of the new playground will be completed prior to design and will happen around late 2023. We look forward to hearing your feedback on what the upgrade can include and will update this page once consultation opens.
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Timeline item 1 - complete
Due to safety concerns, elements of the play space will be removed.
Timeline item 2 - incomplete
Community Consultation Open
This consultation will inform the park's design based on community preferences.
Timeline item 3 - incomplete
Council will review the feedback received from the community and use it to inform the design.
Timeline item 4 - incomplete
Playground designs complete
Late 2023- Early 2024
We will share the final design for the park upgrade with the community.
Timeline item 5 - incomplete
The park upgrade begins construction.
Timeline item 6 - incomplete
The upgraded playspace is now open!
The Shellharbour LGA has approximately 200 reserves, 107 of which include one or more play spaces. In total Council maintains 115 play spaces in the LGA.
To prioritise renewals, look at existing play spaces and opportunities in the area, with input from:
- Safety assessments
- Condition of existing equipment
- Location in the vicinity of other recent renewals
- Community input and feedback
- Feedback from Council teams
- Guidance from various Council strategies and plans.
Council aims to provide an equitable spread of renewals throughout various suburbs so that all families can have access to new play equipment.
Each year, under Council’s Capital Program, a budget is received and allocated for capital projects including play space renewals. This is funded by general Council income. As such, there is a limit to the number that can be renewed in any given financial year.
Sometimes the play space renewals involve the upgrading of the space to a higher standard than previously provided so they can cater for a higher level of demand. When this occurs funding is also made available from the contributions Council receives from developers under our Infrastructure Contributions Plan.
Additional play space renewals are subject to funding from other sources such as grants.
For example, the McDonald Park play space at Albion Park Rail was identified for renewal through a review of parks in the western side of the city. This space was created to meet a district park short fall and is embellished to a district level. This play space was funded from a combination of general Council funds, developer contributions and a grant received from the Stronger Country Communities Fund.
We renew and upgrade play spaces to improve play experiences and meet the needs of the growing community. This ensures our city is vibrant, safe and inclusive.
Renewal refers to replacing like for like; for example, removing an older, unsafe play space and providing a new play space in the same location.
Upgrade refers to adding new elements; for example, providing a new play space where there was previously not one, or new resources such as picnic tables or shade.
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Inclusive playspaces consider as many needs as possible. They provide a welcoming place where people feel comfortable yet challenged, and remove obstacles and barriers that prevent people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and abilities (both physical and mental) from playing.
Inclusive playspaces encourage everyone to stay as long as they choose. A playspace is more than just equipment. It is the entire setting used and enjoyed as part of the play experience. Inclusive playspaces are designed to be easy to access, provide a range of play options and challenges, and have appropriate facilities in a comfortable environment.
At its Council meeting of 25 September 2018 Council agreed to applying the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play (ECP) Guideline with all playspace renewals and upgrades across the city incorporating inclusive elements to our playspaces. The ECP Guideline is a best practice resource for councils, leaders, landscape architects and community. It is a reference guide for creating playspaces, designed to include everyone in the community. At the heart of Everyone Can Play is the declaration that play is for everyone – regardless of age, ability or cultural background.
Inclusive playgrounds are designed to be useable and exciting for children with a range of of abilities. Since 2018 staff have incorporated the following considerations to ensure inclusive elements are a key factor in our playspace renewals and upgrades:
Council uses the park hierarchy to determine if additional elements such as shade, lighting and water stations are suitable and appropriate at any specific park.
Council has been taking into consideration the provision of natural shade in all play space renewal and upgrade projects. The provision of shade in some areas has so far been in the form of plantings (some of which are yet to mature), and also shelters. In some instances, Council requires developers to provide a number of playground elements when they deliver their parks, which includes shade.
Generally, Council does not provide lighting in our parks from an asset provision and maintenance perspective and to reduce light spill potential on neighbouring properties. Lighting is considered with future master planning of open spaces.
Community concerns about antisocial behaviour and requests for lighting are raised with Council’s Community Safety Officer and in turn the Shellharbour Crime Prevention Partnership (SCPP). The SCPP is made up of Council Compliance Officers and NSW Police.
Council acknowledges the popularity of water refill stations and as such have included them with a number of suitable play space upgrades that have occurred across the City. These resources are considered in Masterplans.