A strategy for the future of play spaces in the Central Goldfields
More than 350 residents recently took the time to provide feedback to help the development of our Places for Play: Play Space Strategy.
The Strategy will guide future development and management of play spaces across the shire for the next ten years. It will also provide us with a feasibility study assessing a potential Splash Park/Water Play Area for Maryborough
Thanks to community feedback, we were able to determine what locations are currently being used, what design elements (equipment/trees) are missing and what new play space areas or designs are wanted by our community.
Some key themes of the feedback included:
- A water play facility is popular (over 90%)
- More than half of respondents would travel across the Shire to use a new facility.
- 56% use a play space at least once a week.
- Station Domain Playground in Maryborough is the most commonly used.
- 66% travel by car to use a play space.
- 70% travel more than 1km to use a play space.
- 22% have a family member with a disability.
In addition to the survey, projects consultants have been undertaking extensive research to help understand the current provision of play spaces in the Shire. This includes mapping locations, contextual analysis, site inspections and benchmarking with other councils.
They are also establishing requirements for building and operating a splash park/water play area including potentials costs, potential locations, usage patterns, yearly operating and maintenance costs etc.
Both the survey data and the consultants research will be used to inform the development of both the Play Space Strategy and the Feasibility Study for a Splash Park/Water Play Area.
It is anticipated that the Draft Strategy and Draft Study will be finalised ready for further community feedback early 2024.
Central Goldfields Shire Mayor Cr Grace La Vella said it was important for Council to continue to meet the changing needs of our community both now and into the future.
“We know play spaces are more than just equipment; they are the areas we splash in, trees we sit under, fields we roll down and flower beds we hide behind.
“We want families, carers, children and young people of all cultures, identities and abilities to use and enjoy the play spaces in our Shire.
“We thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback. We heard loud and clear that play spaces are important to our community and that you’d love to see a water play park facility here.
“The Places for Play: Play space Strategy and the Splash Park feasibility study will help us better understand what the possibilities are, potential locations and how much investment we would need to make this happen.
“We look forward to receiving the Draft reports back from the consultant for another round of community feedback early in the new year. Watch this space!”
In 2022, Council secured a grant through the Victorian Government’s 2021-2022 Local Sports and Infrastructure Fund to develop the Places for Play: Play Space Strategy.
The Play Space Strategy will guide the planning, development and management of play spaces across the Shire over the next 10 years and includes a feasibility study that is being conducted to provide recommendations on the location, cost and maintenance requirements of a Splash Park/Water Play Area for Maryborough.
The Strategy will provide policy guidance and prioritise capital works to improve the provision, design and management of play spaces to better meet the needs of all family members, carers and companions regardless of age, gender, ability or cultural background.
The Places for Play: Play Space Strategy addresses two important projects:
1. The Play Space Strategy, which will guide the future development and management of play spaces across the shire for the next ten years
2. Detailed feasibility study assessing a potential Splash Park/Water Play Area for Maryborough
The Play Space Strategy is a jointly funded project by the Victorian Government and Council.
The Splash Park/Water Park Area will be funded entirely by Council.
Council has appointed Jeavons Landscape Architects to assist with developing the Play Space Strategy.