The Community’s Vision for Waterlily Playscape is being ignored.
Your voices need to be heard!!
As you know, the Waterlily Playscape is a project that has been made possible through the efforts of community volunteers and a combination of sponsorships, donations and fundraising initiatives.
Waterlily Playscape Committee supplied the wording for our grant application for the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund and Byron Shire Council then compiled and submitted the application. Council was awarded the $418,608.00 grant in Feb 2018 and received the first instalment of $138,000 in March 2018.
On 15 November the Waterlily Playscape Committee was advised that Council has accepted a tender for the installation of Stage 3 of the project which includes the installation of shade sails, a multi-level, all- abilities Treehouse, a wheel-chair friendly Flying Fox and an all-abilities cycle/pathway.
To our utmost dismay, Council has ignored all of our efforts to make sure Stage 3 of the Playscape would be exactly what our Ocean Shores Community wanted. It has ignored the Public Consultations, our online survey (225 respondents). It has dismissed our School Consultations and all of the Letters of Support from local organisations and businesses. All of these supported our application for the funding and lead to its success.
Council has even ignored its own survey (48 respondents). Note: Council excluded all of the hard-copy responses so the views of many residents were not taken into account.
Multi-level, all abilities Treehouse (This will now replace our very popular gym equipment.)
Only 7 of the 48 respondents preferred this location.
28 of the 48 respondents preferred the location shown on Waterlily Playscape’s Proposed Site Plan.
There are also many comments on Council’s Survey to “leave the gym equipment where it is”.
All-abilities Flying Fox (This will now to be located close to the eastern side of the tennis courts.)
Only 3 of the 48 respondents preferred this location.
21 of the 48 respondents preferred the location shown on Waterlily Playscape’s Proposed Site Plan.
The successful tenderer’s multi-storied Treehouse’ is not an all-abilities structure. It is made with plastic partitions and timber and the only way to get to the upper level is to clamber up rope netting! This is possibly a safety concern for all children.
The purpose-designed, solid hardwood, multi-storied Treehouse (included in the grant application) allows children, no matter their physical ability, to be up near the canopy of the existing shady trees and for toddlers and little children to play under and around it.
The Wheelchair accessible Flying Fox (included in the grant application) is now being replaced by a smaller Flying Fox that requires wheelchair-bound users to be lifted out of their chairs and into a harness.
When planning the original design of the Playscape there was some consideration to relocating the gym equipment. This idea was short-lived. Its current location offers a good view across our community- envisioned Playscape and it is very popular with people of all ages. Our plan has been to have it refurbished, as required, but to leave it in place.
We have asked Council to reconsider the staff / tender proposed location of the Treehouse and to also reconsider the community-inspired Treehouse that is both multi-storied and wheelchair accessible. Council sent a negative response.
We have asked Council to reconsider the staff / tender proposed location and design of the Flying Fox and to reconsider the wheelchair-friendly Flying Fox. Council sent a negative response.
For nearly two years we have lobbied Council to install shade sails over the Fort and Seesaw. Although Council now has the funding for the Playscape it is still delaying the Shade Sails and everything else covered by the Stronger Country Community Grant funds until February 2019.
Please help make the Waterlily Playscape vision a reality.
Waterlily Playscape Committee 9 December, 2018
If you have any questions, please contact the Committee.