19 March 2022

Murrumbateman to get its long-awaited playground if Labor wins the election

| Max O'Driscoll
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Kristy McBain visited the current Murrumbateman playground facilities in June last year. Photo: Kristy McBain.

Murrumbateman may finally get its long-awaited playground. All that’s needed now is a Labor win in the upcoming Federal election.

Yass Valley Councillor and long-standing advocate for recreation in Murrumbateman Kristin Butler said Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain confirmed she had secured $750,000 for a new park in the village as an election commitment pending Labour’s victory.

The commitment is not tied to a particular site for the playground and will be provided to Yass Valley Council for consultation and construction.

Cr Butler said Ms McBain had provided ongoing updates since their meeting in June last year but that it was “pretty incredible” to finally have a commitment confirmed.

“When she called and said that she’d secured it, it was an amazing feeling,” Cr Butler said.

“I didn’t even imagine it would be within that scope of money, not close to $1 million.

“We’re on the map now. Our needs are recognised and I think everyone is on board with that.”

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Securing facilities for Murrumbateman was a major inspiration for Cr Butler running in the recent council election.

“For me as a resident of 11 years, I haven’t seen much planning. For all of these subdivisions that have come in, there are no green spaces that have been allocated and they knew full well that there were no recreational facilities here,” she said.

“That was just a real planning glitch and I don’t know how that happened. That was one of the main reasons that I wanted to get into council because I didn’t understand how no one thought, ‘what are they going to do? Where are they going to go?'”

President of the Murrumbateman Progress Association Greg Weekes said it’s an announcement Murrumbateman residents have been waiting for “basically forever”.

“The need for a playground to accommodate the growing population of children in the town has been the Progress Association’s number one priority for the last five years,” Mr Weekes said.

“We’ve been annunciating that to the council at every opportunity we get.”

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He stressed that there remains the dilemma of finding a suitable site, with access to water and sewerage. While pleased with the news a playground could be on the way, Mr Weekes believes Murrumbateman remains “stuck between a rock a hard place” when it comes to local recreation.

“There’s an obvious need for things for people of all ages, not just swingsets for little kids. We need to look after the teenagers too and they need somewhere to ride their bikes. There needs to be better tracks for people to run on.”

The Progress Association are looking to form a working group to glean the exact play space needed for Murrumbateman now and in the future.

Both Mr Weekes and Cr Butler revealed hopes that the Liberal/Nationals Party would follow suit and support recreation in the village should they win the election.

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