ACT News

Narrabundah playground to be reopened after community outrage

An ageing playground in Narrabundah will be repaired by the ACT government and reopened after an earlier decision to send it to the scrapheap outraged residents.  

Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury visited the playground last week and has now decided it should be repaired rather than razed. 

The ACT government has decided to repair rather than close a playground in Narranbundah meaning children like sisters ...
The ACT government has decided to repair rather than close a playground in Narranbundah meaning children like sisters Olivia and Sophia Baker can keep playing there.  Photo: Jamila Toderas

An audit had identified a number of safety issues with the Rocky Knob playground, which saw it then slated for closure.

The surprise decision angered many residents who frequently used the playground.

Sisters Olivia and Sophia Baker can keep playing in Narrabundah playground after the ACT government decided to repair it.
Sisters Olivia and Sophia Baker can keep playing in Narrabundah playground after the ACT government decided to repair it. Photo: Jamila Toderas

"I went to the site with the TAMS staff, we talked through those issues and we've been able to identify that there are cost effective repairs that can be done which will ensure safety at the playground and will mean it can stay in place," Mr Rattenbury told The Canberra Times

It is anticipated the repairs will cost a "couple of thousand dollars", Mr Rattenbury said.

"I'm really pleased the playground will be kept. It provides a focal point for the community whether it's the kids or kids and their parents gathering there and obviously it's an opportunity for children to keep active," he said.

Playgrounds in the ACT are audited frequently to ensure they are up-to-date and safe, Mr Rattenbury said. 

Nearly $1 million was spent on designs and upgrading 13 playgrounds in 2013-14, up from $866,000 spent a year earlier. 

"There's a very regular auditing and maintenance routine for playgrounds to ensure they are safe on an ongoing basis," Mr Rattenbury said. 

The playground will remain closed over coming weeks while repairs are carried out.