Playground pulled in timing tangle
KIDS in Enfield will be without a playground for up to three months after Golden Plains Shire officers removed the town’s existing facility at Harrison Reserve without a clear timeframe on the installation of a new play space.
The works, which were not communicated to the local community, began at the start of the school holidays on 20 September.
However, according to the Shire’s director of infrastructure and development, Phil Josipovic, ongoing issues with COVID-19 related restrictions led to a delay in installing the replacement playground.
“The new playground was scheduled to be installed on 25 October,” he said.
“In anticipation of the installation, the removal of the existing playground began on 20 September. Unfortunately, the COVID lockdown in Melbourne impacted upon the project with the start of the playground installation delayed until November, with a new completion date in December.
“The removal of the playground had already started when the delay was confirmed and was completed to ensure the safety of the site.”
Several residents described coming home to find the playground unexpectedly removed.
One of those was Jesse Sherman, who has two young daughters and said his family used the playground about once a week.
“I only found out through the local community Facebook group,” he said. “The response has been a bit mixed. Some people are happy we are going to get a new one, as it was probably in need of an update. Others had no idea.”
With an up to three-month wait for the play space to reopen, and the issue not communicated to locals, Mr Sherman described the outcome as “pretty frustrating.”
“We’ve potentially got two to three months of no playground for the kids,” he said.
Mr Josipovic said the Shire “regrets the delay of the new playground and appreciates the understanding of local families and residents.”
He also suggested other options for Enfield residents to access municipal play spaces.
“Council encourages residents to visit a nearby playground, including the Napoleons playground or the newly-upgraded playgrounds in Dereel or Garibaldi,” he said.
However, if required to travel to take his young daughters to a playground, Mr Sherman said he’d more than likely bypass those options.
“We’ll probably just head into Ballarat and go to a bigger playground,” he said.
“If you’re already packing the kids up to go to a playground, you might as well go to one that’s a bit bigger.”