Inner West Council has unanimously committed over $2 million from its next two budgets for the planning, design and construction of inclusive playgrounds across all of its five wards, which Labor councillor Mat Howard said would give “many children living with disability” the chance to play.
The proposal was tabled at a council meeting earlier in May, with all councillors voting in support of Cr Howard’s motion.
Council’s 2022/23 budget will allocate $50,000 for the planning, consultation and design of the playgrounds, with an additional $2 million assigned in 2023/24 for construction. General Manager Peter Gainsford said that the funds included in the next budget can be absorbed as part of its playground strategy, while construction costs can be included in the masterplan budget for council parks.
Playgrounds will ‘encourage children of all abilities to play’: Howard
Mat Howard. Photo: Inner West Labor.
As part of the motion, council officers will be asked to seek further funding opportunities to support the project, and work with a “reputable third party to better engage children with disability and their families in the codesign” of the playgrounds.
In the background to the motion, Cr Howard said that “inclusive play spaces invite and encourage children of all abilities to play, socialise and enjoy our public parks and playgrounds”.
“Well-designed inclusive play spaces that are responsive to the needs of the community help children living with disability to participate fully in our community. The best designs are developed in full collaboration with the community, ensuring play spaces respond to and meet community needs.”