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Playground less fun

Wednesday, 12th September, 2018

Carol McGavisk showing one of the things that needs fixing in the Sturt Park playground. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Carol McGavisk showing one of the things that needs fixing in the Sturt Park playground. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

The state of the Sturt Park playground had made it unsafe, according to the treasurer of Broken Hill Community Inc.

Broken equipment, bunting, a collapsed garden bed, a broken swing and poor fencing were problems Council needed to address, said Carol McGavisk who is also the publicity officer for the organisation which runs the community markets.

Ms McGavisk said she became aware of the pubic concern following a post she made about the playground on their Facebook page.

“Someone on a post said ‘let’s take the kids down to the park and go to the playground afterwards’. “I thought what a great idea, so I made a post about it for the market we just had.

“Instead of a positive reaction, I got all these negative comments about broken equipment, broken planter boxes and bunting everywhere. 

“It went on for two to three days, so I thought there’s some dissatisfaction there in the community.”

One person replied to Carol’s post saying, “we were there Father’s Day (and) it’s very run down unfortunately. Orange bunting everywhere on broken equipment and fallen planter boxes. Needs some council attention.”

Another said, “The only park in town that seems to have a proper toddler area and it hasn’t been useable for around 12 months. Very disappointing.”

One individual said they’d already reported it to Council, while another said it wasn’t safe for younger children.

Carol said she realised Council was busy and didn’t always have enough people or money to solve each issue, but believed the playground wasn’t being prioritised.

“Someone mentioned that it’s been like that for 12 months. And I thought that’s dreadful.

“It’s obviously at the bottom of their list of priorities, and that’s not right.

“I’ve been going to the markets for three years now with my stall and the playground is a very popular destination on Saturday morning.”

The time taken to address the problems around the playground was the biggest concern for Carol and those in the community.

Hampering Council’s efforts to address community concerns is that the playground is often attacked by vandals.

While an upgrade is in the works, Council said that until proper security is installed the damage may arise again.

“The Sturt Park has been repeatedly targeted by vandals in recent years, with the children’s play area the primary target,” a Council spokesman said.

“Council is currently seeking funding through the State Government’s Stronger Country Communities program to upgrade the children’s play area.

“However, given the ongoing nature of the vandalism in the park, it is important that any potential upgrade coincides with increased security measures.

“Council has set aside $596,000 in the 2018/2019 budget to provide CCTV and smart lighting in the park to assist in the prevention of vandals targeting the play area.” 

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