GUNNEDAH Shire Council has confirmed the choice of Wolseley Park as the preferred location for a new inclusive playground.
At a full meeting held in Mullaley last night, councillors voted to endorse the location and authorise a master planning review for Wolseley Park.
It will also set aside $10,000 in the 2015-16 operational plan for concept design work and the review of the park.
The inclusive playground, which has been revised down from original estimates of $400,000 to between $200,000 and $300,000, will cater for children of all ages and abilities.
A working group of community members formed through the council has been working with the group the Touched by Olivia Foundation to come up with a plan for the park.
The foundation has worked on playspaces known as “Livvi’s Place” throughout the country.
Working group member and councillor Rebecca Ryan last night told council the group was looking for “seed funding” to kick the project off.
She said once a concept design had been developed, the group could consider seeking financial support from corporate bodies.
Cr Ryan said the group were “very enthused” about the park, but realised it was a difficult time to seek funding.
She said the group has also realised from looking at designs that there was a “pretty big gap” between what could be done for $200,000 and what could be achieved for $300,000.
Livvi’s Place inclusive playspaces aim to provide a place where children of all ages and abilities can play side by side.
Research and community consultation go into the development of the playspaces the foundation says are “world class facilities”.
The parks are developed with six key principles: Everyone can play; access to nature; total experience; a connection to community; play independence; and friendship.
A council delegation visited the inclusive playground at Victoria Park in Dubbo in February 2014.
The working group decided on Wolseley Park as the preferred location, with the park to go on the Conadilly Street frontage close to the toilets.
Council’s director of planning and environmental services Michael Silver told councillors it was important to align the project with
council’s long-term plans for Wolseley Park.
Mr Silver said the development of a concept design would allow greater publicity for the inclusive playground proposal and allow the working group to pursue funding options.
“In this regard it is now considered that a capital budget of between $200,000 and $300,000 would provide a suitable quality inclusive playground facility,” Mr Silver’s report said.
The inclusive playground idea was first brought to the attention of council by Gunnedah mum Ashley Bender in late 2013.