Best playground in Australia

Wyong Shire Council’s playground at Canton Beach has been named as one of the best in Australia at the Parks and Leisure Australia National Awards.

Canton Beach All Access Playground won the Australian Play Space of the Year in the category: ‘Play Space Award between $250,000 to $1,000,000’.

Earlier this year, the playground also won the regional award along with Council’s Bamayi Reserve at Blue Haven.

Mayor Doug Eaton said the aim was to build a state-of-the-art all access playground with the community, for the community.

“I’m absolutely chuffed it has been named one of the top playgrounds in the state and now in the country.

“This was definitely a community effort and that’s what makes it so special.

“Canton Beach playground is an inclusive play space that has particular design consideration for children of all abilities.

“In fact 80 percent of the play equipment is suitable for wheelchair users and the space incorporates sensory elements like sound, scent, orientation, tactile experiences, balance, education and interpretation.”

Wyong Council’s Manager Open Space and Recreation, Brett Sherar, said the play space was a grass roots effort and community input can be seen in every creative feature.

“During the design phase we held BBQs, community workshops and created a steering group. We engaged with Guide Dogs Australia as well as local artists, residents and the local wood turners and potters groups to create the totems and art.

“We forged a strong working relationship between Council’s Open Space and Recreation and Community Planning and Partnerships teams as well as the local community.

“This space was once a storage area for harvested sea grass and now it is a striking community asset made from recycled and reclaimed materials.

“It is accessible, beautiful and environmentally sound. We are so proud of the result.”

The project was completed at a cost of $650,000 and Council received funding from the federal government through a Community Infrastructure Grant of $520,000.