A GUNNEDAH mum whose campaign has led to the possibility of a $400,000 inclusive playground for the shire has welcomed the idea of a working group for the project.
Ashley Bender, who called on Gunnedah Shire Council last year to build a fenced playground for children of all ages and abilities, said yesterday she was “really excited” the idea was gaining momentum.
Mrs Bender had started a petition for a “Livvi’s Place” playground created in partnership with the Touched by Olivia Foundation, to be built in Gunnedah.
Mrs Bender said Gunnedah’s parks were outdated and unfenced.
The petition attracted hundreds of signatures.
The council voted last week to form a working group including members of the community and representatives of the Touched by Olivia Foundation to provide input and feedback on the proposal and look at the location ahead of the 2015-16 budget.
Council has floated the idea of the park being developed at Woleseley Park on the Conadilly or Bloomfield Street frontage.
While there is currently no funding for the project, council is looking at the possibility of grants funding.
Mrs Bender, who has a son who is autistic and a daughter, said she hoped to be on the working group.
“It would be great for this working group to get started and to get a few people involved – especially mothers – and to have some progress,” she said.
She said her main concern with Gunnedah’s playgrounds was the lack of fencing, and Livvi’s Place projects were fully enclosed.
“It’s also about equipment that everyone can access, like big, bright sensory equipment,” Mrs Bender said.
She said she believed Wolseley Park was a great choice for a location.
The Namoi Valley Independent’s story about the inclusive playground has prompted a strong response on Facebook, with more than 4500 people reached through the link.