3 June 2024

Location finalised for all-abilities playground in Murrumbateman, with design to come

| Claire Sams
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old school buildings

A location for Murrumbateman’s newest playground has been decided: the Old Schoolhouse. Photo: Murrumbateman Community Association.

Murrumbateman’s newest playground finally has a location.

At its recent meeting, Yass Valley Council voted to approve the Murrumbateman Old Schoolhouse as the location for an all-abilities playground.

Councillor Kristin Butler told Region she was satisfied with the decision.

“There were definitely pros and cons with both of the locations [that were considered],” Cr Butler said.

“Ultimately, I was happy to advocate for the Old Schoolhouse grounds.”

However, should that site not be feasible, councillors agreed to begin consultation to use Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds as an alternative.

That site, off the Barton Highway, is connected to Murrumbateman Primary School by a footpath.

“The [playground’s] location needed to be on the village side of the highway, which is where the majority of Murrumbateman lives, and this is,” Cr Butler said.

“From an accessibility point of view, there is access to all of the local food outlets.

“Kids will be able to ride their bikes to and from the playground and only need to cross internal village roads.”

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Yass Valley Council commissioned Complete Urban to undertake community consultation for the project.

The design company examined several locations for the playground, including the Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds.

Cr Butler acknowledged some residents favoured the Recreation Grounds.

“That site was definitely larger in size and potentially could have housed a bit more of a staged playground, but there were a few conflicts,” she said.

“It’s already quite heavily accessed by lots of user groups, so everyone’s battling for space there and there would have had to be a lot more consultation with the user groups.

“There was a conflict with needing to put an extra road in to access the playground, and there was no shade.”

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Now a location has been decided, the playground’s design will be developed and finalised in the coming months before being sent out for public feedback.

“Having a big, bright-coloured plastic playground was absolutely not in anyone’s desires,” Cr Butler said.

“In the consultation we’ve done so far, the community has really expressed the need to have something that’s very sympathetic to how we are a rural area.

“We know the community wants a more natural play space.”

Cr Butler said the decision meant potential developments for the Old Schoolhouse site.

“For the last couple of years, it’s been completely empty and was sitting there essentially unused,” she said.

“The block is beautiful and shady. We see this as reinvigorating the area so the community can enjoy it for many years.”

Most councillors voted to approve the location, with Cr Adrian Cameron the only one against it.

The playground will be funded through a $750,000 Federal Government grant as well as $116,000 from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Grant (Phase 4) program and $228,611 from Yass Valley Council.

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Adrian Cameron2:08 pm 04 Jun 24

YVC having engaged consultants Complete Urban to research the best site for this playground totally disregarded their recommendation that the best location for a
Level 1 all abilities playground was MURRUMBATEMAN RECREATION GROUND. The Rec Grounds was also the preferred site of the Murrumbateman Community Association. There are many problems with the Old School site including the Council is custodian for only part of the site, new toilets are needed, heritage issues for which there is no plan, proximity to the Barton Highway and no parking. What will it cost to address all of these, and how much will be left for the playground itself?. I continue to support the Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds as the best site. It already has toilets, parking and distance from the Barton Highway. So work could commence almost immediately, maximising the spend on the playground, not wasted on site issues.
Councillor Adrian Cameron
Yass Valley Council
Ph. 0493 376 738

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