Waramanga residents continue their push for a playground at the shops

Weston Creek and Waramanga residents are continuing their push for a playground at the Waramanga shops.

This week marks the culmination of a two year campaign to build a new playspace at the Waramanga shops for it’s 50 year anniversary in 2018 as Cabinet Ministers hand down their decision on the fate of Waramanga’s community-led initiative.

Playgrounds and nature based play are vital for tackling childhood obesity, supporting social and cognitive development of children, building community cohesion and boosting the local economy. In addition they are important for tackling post-natal depression by providing a place for young mums to socialise and spend time with other new mums and young families.

The Waramanga community is keen for the ACT Government to support their proposal in the 2018-2019 budget to coincide with 50 year birthday celebrations at the shops.

This week, Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Hanson, Shadow Minister for Women, Giulia Jones, and ACT Greens Member of the Legislative Assembly, Caroline LeCouteur, voiced their support for the project.

“The playgrounds in Waramanga really aren’t servicing the community. They are old and a long way from the shops where people congregate. The Waramanga community has come forward with a proposal for a new playground at the shops, which is the right location that will actually create social cohesiveness,” said Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Hanson.

Giulia Jones, Member for Murrumbidgee, has also spoken out in support of the Waramanga proposal: “I really think that on this the 50th anniversary of Waramanga’s gazetting as a suburb that it is about time we saw the replacement of Waramanga’s ancient play equipment”.

Caroline LeCouteur, Member for Murrumbidgee, also points out that the demography of Waramanga has changed and people now have different needs than they did 50 years ago: “How the people of Waramanga use their shops has changed and it would be really great if the Waramanga shops could have a playground next to it. This is a real community of people who are saying Waramanga is great, but it could be greater”.

International award winning playground designer, Paul Brookbanks from INDESCO, has put forward designs for consideration by the Government to help bring to life the potential of the currently vacant space next to the shops. “For the design of the park we have utilised and referenced the local Casuarina trees, which grow throughout Weston Creek. By drawing from this inspiration we can not only create a beautiful space but we also capture the identity of the local area.”

Five stages of community consultations have been held, including a petition and a Waramanga Block Party. Over 400 people have signed the petition for the proposal for the playground and seating and shaded area, which was presented to the ACT Government and tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 8 June 2017.

An online video campaign has also been made highlighting the benefits of the proposal, which has received hundreds of views.

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