The strategy provides a long-term goal for how play spaces across the region will be developed, upgraded, managed and maintained.
A draft Play Space Strategy 2020-2030 was released for public exhibition at the September Council Meeting, with the community given six weeks to provide their feedback on the strategy. Changes were then made to the document following the feedback received.
Council voted to adopt the final strategy last night after making an amendment to the recommended actions. Councillors voted in favour of removing the recommendation to decommission playgrounds that were at the end of their use and replace it with an end of life review. This will allow the community to have their say on what should happen to the playgrounds and the accompanying space of land when the time comes.
“The Play Space Strategy aims to provide high quality and suitably located infrastructure to create a positive experience for visitors and residents,” Director Infrastructure Phil Hoare said.
“The existence of a strategy such as this, developed through community support, which aims to guide policy, priorities and future capital works projects relating to play spaces is essential for the region.”
The strategy incorporates an analysis of the distribution, quality of play experiences, age groups catered for, access and improvement opportunities available to existing play spaces within Greater Shepparton. The design guidelines included in the strategy will guide the future development of any new play spaces and the renewal of existing ones.
The scope of the strategy is confined to play spaces (traditional playgrounds) on land that is owned and managed by Council, publicly accessible and can be used at any time. It does not cover private facilities, specific areas such as skate parks, organised sporting venues, bike tracks and outdoor fitness equipment.
The number of play spaces across Greater Shepparton has increased in the last 15 years from 64 to 88, which Mayor Cr Kim O’Keeffe said was a positive outcome for locals.
“Council has worked to increase the number of play spaces across the municipality to ensure there are plenty of facilities available for families to use,” she said.
“Play spaces in Greater Shepparton should be fun, inclusive and non-prescriptive, should cater for all ages and meet community needs.
“By improving infrastructure we hope it encourages visitation and travel throughout our region to the many great recreation, entertainment, retail and tourism destinations in Greater Shepparton.”