Bondi mum campaigns for better playground 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you tell us why you started a campaign to improve the Bondi Beach kids playground?

I have never done anything like this per say, ‘taking on The Council’, but I frequent the playground and constantly complain about it. And I really don’t like hearing people complain – I think to myself, ‘If you don’t like something, then change what you’re doing! Do something about it!’.

So I decided late last year, that in 2019, I would take my own advice, and do something about this decaying playground. I decided to dedicate my energy into campaigning for a new playground for myself, and everyone else to enjoy. I was a nanny for ten years prior to having my own children, and I have spent countless hours at playgrounds, and Bondi Beach is by far the most disappointing.

What is more disappointing is that as a local, I have stopped coming to this playground as I feel it’s unsafe and offers no mental or physical growth for my son.

Where do you live and how often do you frequent the playground ?

I live in North Bondi. Bondi Beach is literally my backyard; it’s an easy walk with the pram. I used to go Bondi Beach playground every day. I am at the beach every day, but sadly, I am venturing out to other playgrounds as the current equipment is rusty, parts are missing and my son cannot play independently of me – which I do feel is very important.

What have you noticed is missing or not repaired?

The biggest issue I have with the playground is the missing component that joins to the slide section. Obviously there was a middle part, but in the six years that I have lived in Bondi (I am originally from Melbourne), I have never seen this part there. I must lift my son up onto the slide section, which is heavily rusted, as he is still a growing toddlers (2years old) and cannot yet climb up by himself. This is the only slide available for this age group and I see all the other mothers also lifting their children up to the platform connecting to the slide.

I don’t have an issue assisting my son, but I do feel that the playground is a wonderful opportunity for son to explore and dictate his own movements, without me. Unfortunately this isn’t possible at Bondi Beach playground.

There is also a swing section which is missing. The boat in the sand is made from wood which is chipping away little shards, creating harmful splinters. The sun shade rope is broken which has now been tied around the bench for stability instead of the appropriate polls.

The ‘big kids’ playground is in no way suitable for toddlers, which seems pointless to me as it doesn’t offer younger children an option for growth in their fine motor skills – it simply excludes them. The pavement is uneven and children are constantly tripping or stubbing their toes. The surrounding gates are heavily rusted. And the undercover seating pergola is revolting – it’s rotting away by the day.


What motivated you to start a petition and what would you like Waverley Council to do?

Thanks to the traction this petition has already created, I have been in contact with Waverly Council, and they have told me that the upgrade will only commence upon the completion of The Pavilion upgrade. Therefore, the estimated timeframe for the playground upgrade is 2022. The Council claim that there could be damage to a new playground should it be upgraded prior to the completion of The Pavilion. Exterior works are due to commence winter 2019.

I would like Waverley Council to adjust their timeframe for the playground upgrade. I believe that a full demolition of the playground should commence AT THE SAME TIME as the exterior works for The Pavilion. And the new playground should be replaced at the same time in the interior works.

Demolition of the playground could not take more than one week. Construction of a new playground could not take more than 4 weeks (at the most!). Therefore, I believe that a new playground could be erected by Summer 2019; at the latest prior to Winter 2020.

Furthermore, the council have the budget in place, so there really shouldn’t be a need for such an extended timeframe.

Have other mums commented on the state of the playground? What support would you like?

Absolutely! I have had numerous conversations with mothers about the safety and appalling state of the playground. Not just in Bondi Beach either; these conversation occur at other playgrounds, as we are making comparisons and discussing how we don’t go to Bondi Beach anymore for those exact reasons.

The best way to support this campaign is to call and email your local Waverley Councillor and complain about the state of the playground and demand an upgrade in 2019.

(Specifically the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Labour and Greens party)

Specify your postcode, children’s age and why you feel it’s unsafe.

Please see link below for details:

http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/council/councillors

Or sign up to the petition at

http://chng.it/tBSbcFV8