Several playgrounds across the Latrobe Valley will undergo major changes in an effort to improve public play spaces across the region.
Replacing equipment with new swing sets, see-saws and frames; planting more trees and upgrading timber structures are among the planned works at seven sites.
The changes are part of Latrobe City Council’s playground improvement implementation plan, allocated $135,000 capital funding for the 2015/16 financial year.
Councillors last week approved the priorities set out under the plan, which were altered to reflect a current review of council’s play space strategy.
“All sites have been individually assessed with a view to a more holistic park design,” a council report read.
“(It is thought to accommodate) all users, rather than just the equipment replacement focus that the previous implementation plan held.”
Late last year the public was invited to have its say on a draft play space strategy that would provide a planned approach to maintaining outdoor public play areas.
Council officers are now reviewing the feedback and expect to put their proposed final strategy to councillors for their consideration in April.
The $135,000 will upgrade Watsons Park in Churchill; Morwell’s Northern Reserve and Town Common; Jack Harrison Park in Traralgon; Yallourn North’s Marshall Street Reserve and Tyers Play Space.
Moe’s Apex Park is another priority site, previously allocated $30,000 for a pirate ship.
Instead, $15,000 will be allocated to develop a play space plan for the whole Waterloo Road play precinct after it was identified as “a destination play space, but could be much improved”.
East Ward councillor Sandy Kam spoke at the meeting last week of the need to communicate which works would be undertaken.
She said as the play space strategy review had changed council’s view of the parks and in essence the planned works, the community needed to be informed.
“(This plan is a) good win for the community and it’s good we actually advise them of it rather than do the works without them knowing what’s going on,” Cr Kam said.
The implementation plan can be viewed online at www.latrobe.vic.gov.au under the council meeting minutes and agendas section.