Woonona and Bellambi’s new playgrounds


Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery with Councillor Janice Kershaw and Councillor Jill Merrin, and Bellambi Public School students Jake Martin, Anahera Wihapi and Huntah Riley at today’s playground reopening.

A CAKE and a ribbon cutting marked the official reopening of Bellambi Point’s new play space on Wednesday.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery will be joined by the principal and students from Bellambi Public School and children and parents from Big Fat Smile and Barnardos Bellambi playgroups to celebrate the opening of the refurbished space in Robert Cram Drive, Bellambi.

“Playground reopenings are one of the major joys of this job,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“The kids just get so into it. They love the chance to be one of the first on the new equipment and, of course, any excuse for celebratory cake is a good one.’’

It’s a busy week with playground reopenings. Cr Bradbery will also cut the ribbon and a cake on a new playground for Nicholson Park in Woonona on Thursday.

“Council is investing a significant amount in renewing our playgrounds and play spaces. We’re making sure kids across our local government area have spaces to play that encourage movement and also foster their imagination,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“Our staff don’t just open a catalogue and pick equipment for the kids, either. They go out to the community and talk to the kids, the parents, grandparents and carers to find out what everyone wants from their local space. It’s an involved process, and is part of the commitment made through Council’s Play Wollongong Strategy 2014-2024.”

For the Bellambi Point Play space, Council spoke with children from Bellambi Public School and children, parents and carers from two local playgroups. The top preferred experiences were trampolining, hanging upside down, water play and swinging. All of these activities have been incorporated into the $100,000 upgrade.

“By carrying out this engagement, the kids have a real sense of ownership over their playspace and get to have the play experiences they want,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

In the 2016-2017 budget Council invested $1 million in the renewal of nine aged playgrounds.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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