After much debate, heartache and perhaps a few grey hairs from Moira Shire councillors and staff alike the new Yarrawonga All Abilities Playground has now officially opened.
Costing $270,000, the playground which is situated on the Yarrawonga foreshore features a fort, a disc swing, a rope climbing frame, a surfboard rocker, audio sensory equipment as well as a digger and sand pit.
Cr Wendy Buck’s motion at the April ordinary meeting to also include a disability wheel chair swing lapsed with no councillor prepared to act as seconder, however Cr Buck was instrumental in keeping the initial funding of $200,000 – allocated in the2015/16 budget to assist a community group to build a similar all abilities playground which did not eventuate – to remain in Yarrawonga for playground equipment.
At the request of Cr Buck, Moira Shire officers presented a report to council at the June 2016 ordinary meeting detailing the progress of an all abilities playground for Yarrawonga that was listed in the 2015-16 budget.
“These funds were intended to be a contribution toward a larger project in Yarrawonga but this project has since been relocated to Mulwala,” the June 2016 report said.
“An opportunity to provide all abilities playground facilities has been identified through the renewal of the existing playground on the Yarrawonga foreshore near the Bank Street boat ramp.”
Cr Peter Lawless spoke with the Yarrawonga Chronicle at the opening of the playground saying he would like to acknowledge the work Cr Buck has done in championing this project.
“Cr Buck has been a driving force to keep this project on track and made sure the original funding stayed in Yarrawonga for a playground,” Cr Lawless said.
“She needs to be acknowledged for this work.”
Two features are still to be installed in the playground with shade sails earmarked set to be constructed well before the warmer months, according to Cr Lawless.
“Also we are going to make a feature out of a tree which was on the playground site however was found to have some rot in the upper trunk which unfortunately had to be removed,” he said.
“The lower half of the trunk still remains and we are asking for artists to come forward with ideas on carving this trunk into an iconic statement piece.
“This playground is a great asset for Yarrawonga and Mulwala, for families with children, for all abilities, for the community as a whole.
“The fencing surrounding the playground and the accompanying landscaping has created an area that is secure from the lake and yet still with a panoramic view which is wonderful for families with small children who need to be supervised, knowing there is a safe space for them to play.
“All the approaches, paths and parking bays have also been made with all abilities in mind so are wheel chair accessible.
“The east end of the foreshore is now a magnificent family friendly area which no doubt will be extremely popular, especially during the summer months.”