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‘Fun-tastic’ boost for All Abilities Playground

by
May 24, 2017

Hooray! 855,650 reasons to celebrate: Kaitlyn Cummins is congratulated by Federation Council Administrator Mike Eden. Melissa Cummins, Dr Tania Jones, Daryl Davey, Annalise Grinter and Cathy Randell also show their excitement about council’s major project funding announcement last week.

The proposed creation of a unique-to-country area of a $1.8 million All Abilities Adventure Playground in Mulwala received a massive financial boost from Federation Council on Tuesday, May 16.

At council’s May meeting, Federation Council Administrator Mike Eden approved funding allocation of $855,650 towards the overall cost, bringing the total to date to $1.2 million, with the $350,000 already raised by Yarrawonga Mulwala Development Incorporated.

“The project will definitely occur in 2018 but if funding for the balance happens in the near future, it will be operational by Christmas this year,” driver of the project, Kaitlyn Cummins of Yarrawonga told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.  

To be established in the JW Purtle Reserve along the Mulwala foreshore, the project will create a landmark community facility aimed at attracting visitors and families to the region.

Kaitlyn was thrilled to hear the news

first-hand at Federation Council’s monthly meeting on May 16.

“I am really excited about the playground announcement and thank Federation Council so much,” she said.

“As a local health professional I know the impact this facility will have on the health and wellbeing of our children. As a parent it’s exciting to think that we no longer have to travel out of town to access great opportunities for our kids.

“From a business perspective the economic benefits this playground will have for the local community are really significant. There are currently no playgrounds like this outside of Sydney and Brisbane.”

Kaitlyn said that free, accessible play experiences are sought after by parents and many will travel great distances to visit unique and exciting playgrounds.

“The 12 metre high sky walk that is the feature piece of our playground is German designed to the highest safety standards whilst giving children an amazing risk-taking experience which is so valuable for their learning and development,” she said.

“This is particularly true for children with autism who seek these kinds of play experiences but often do so in dangerous or inappropriate ways.”

The application for funding this project from the Stronger Communities Major Projects Fund had strong support within Federation Council.

“It will be a significant development for the Federation Council area,” Federation Council Administrator Mike Eden said.

“The creation of the adventure playground containing challenging play equipment for babies through to teens will be the centrepiece, surrounded by new amenities, a shade structure, footpaths, seating and landscaping.”

The family friendly area will contain a free-standing play system that will ‘reach to the skies’ with children able to move between sky cabins along swaying paths eight metres above the ground.

The project will require removal of the existing car park and boat ramp. Angle car parking will be created along that part of Melbourne Street closest to the proposed adventure playground.

Mr Eden said the large funding allocation was “just reward for the all the hard work over the years for a much-needed type of project”.

“I believe more such projects should be aimed for in all local government shires,” he said.

Keen supporter of Mulwala Foreshore’s $10 million Masterplan, Federation Council Local Representative Committee member Daryl Davey, welcomed the news.

“The All Abilities funding is a fantastic outcome, seeing Moira Shire Council didn’t want it for Yarrawonga,” he said. “It will be ‘funtastic’.

“We were supportive of the project from the start. The proof is in the pudding with the amount of money from Federation Council.

“Now we just have to see it happen. The design and layout, and other parts of the puzzle, will all come together in due course.”

Mulwala Progress Association President Robert Purtle OAM also welcomed the news. “Mulwala is progressing so much we’ve got to get these things and more,” the son of the man after which the park is named, said.

“I’m proud something will be here for the younger generation and generations to come.”

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