Playgrounds in NSW will soon have to meet new design standards that cater for people of all abilities. On the Northern Beaches this is already well underway.
The NSW Government is developing a set of playground and park design guidelines for councils and developers to provide facilities for kids with disability, their parents, the elderly and carers.
All playgrounds in NSW will be assessed and rated against the new universal design principles, and improvements to accessibility will be identified.
The government will provide councils with funding to retro-fit all playgrounds and play spaces so they are accessible by people of all abilities within five years.
Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said, “There are more than 1.3 million people in NSW who live with a disability or added needs.
“It is imperative that our open spaces and playgrounds in parklands are able to be enjoyed by every citizen regardless of their level of ability.”
The peninsula already has a number of accessible playgrounds with more nearing completion.
Baranbali Park, Seaforth
Wheelchair-accessible, with bike parks and pathways and next door to a community garden, this park is suitable for all ages. The play equipment includes a Liberty Swing. To open the gate and unlock the Liberty Swing you need an MLAK (Master Locksmiths Access Key).
Address: Cnr Fromelles Ave and Baranbali Ave, Seaforth.
Bert Payne Park, Newport
A fully-fenced accessible playground next to the beach and surf club. There are BBQ facilities, shade cloths, public toilets and plenty of parking. Playground features include a trampoline at ground level and climbing platform with a ramp.
Address: Barrenjoey Road, South end of the beach, Newport.
Bruce Bartlett Reserve, Collaroy Beach
A fun playground for all with its carved sandstone sculptures, musical elements and an interactive water play area. Along with a Liberty Swing, there is a carousel, spinner, rocker and six-seat swing set. You need a MLAK (Master Locksmiths Access Key) to access the liberty swing or ask one of the council lifeguards.
Address: Pittwater Rd (opp Alexander St), Collaroy Beach.
North Steyne Major, Manly Beach
Right on the beachfront, find play equipment for children with special needs including a pod swing, carousel, sensory play boards and an accessible Butterfly see-saw.
Address: Between Denison St and Steinton St, Manly Beach.
Five local playgrounds in Belrose have also undergone accessibility work - Lindrum Reserve, Maple Reserve, Windrush Reserve, Pusan Reserve and Wentworth Reserve.
Lionel Watts Reserve - all-abilities playground.
The new NSW guidelines for designed play spaces will be finalised in 2018.