Apple FunPark made accessible

Article image - Apple FunPark made accessible Oliver Dawson checks out the new FunPark equipment. Donnybrook’s Apple FunPark has been extended to cater for children of all ages and abilities in line with the Shire of Donnybrook-Ballingup’s Disability Access Inclusion Plan.

The Apple FunPark – Australia’s largest free-entry playground – attracts some 30,000 visitors to the town of Donnybrook in Western Australia’s south west each year. This figure is expected to grow significantly since the $630,000 extension was completed in July.

Shire CEO John Attwood said eight new pieces of equipment had been installed, specially designed to accommodate younger children and those with special needs.

“The pieces we have selected allow children to bounce, spin, climb, balance and swing safely, while building skills such as agility, coordination and teamwork.

“There are learning panels with audio-tactile functions, a roundabout and an aero-glider specially designed for wheelchairs and all this equipment has been surrounded by rubber soft-fall in place of sand to make it safer and cleaner.”

Shade sails make the area sun-safe and extra parking spaces have been provided to meet demand.

FunPark visitor Jen Dawson said it was rare to find a facility for young children in the south west, particularly in a small country town.

“Most visitor attractions are aimed at adults. It’s great to see something which recognises the needs of children to be entertained and develop skills.”

Mr Attwood said the Shire was committed to reviewing barriers to access and inclusion and removing them where possible.

“By removing those barriers people can lead lives of greater independence and participate more fully in community life. This playground extension is a real step forward in this regard.”

The majority of funding for the extensions was provided through the Royalties for Regions Country Local Government Fund.