12 May 2020

Pirate ships, flying foxes, pathways and picnics await local kids when restrictions ease

| Sharon Kelley
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Wooden pirate ship playground at Lions Park in Tathra.

A wooden pirate ship in the new playground at Lions Park in Mogareeka, Tathra. Photo: Supplied.

Remember that feeling as a kid of walking out of your bedroom and down the stairs on Christmas morning and being greeted by a pile of presents under the tree that weren’t there when you went to bed?

We can’t use parks and playgrounds just yet: restrictions are close to easing though, and you can find the latest details about what we are allowed to do here. And as always, use commonsense at playgrounds and don’t take children who are ill out to play in communal spaces.

But while we’ve all been in lockdown, Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) has been playing Santa so the region’s kids have a surprise when they’re allowed out as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

BVSC’s leisure and recreation team, and local contractors GDB Excavations & Landscaping and Bega Bobcats, have been working on the village playgrounds project at Apex Park in Cobargo, Lions Park in Mogareeka, Bicentennial Park in Bemboka and the Wyndham Memorial Park.

Funded by the NSW State Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund, which contributed $300,705, and BVSC, there is now more than one great place to take the kids when restrictions are relaxed.

The park construction program has been staggered, with Cobargo and Mogareeka now complete, while Bemboka is well underway, and Wyndham is set to start in the next few days.

BVSC’s leisure and recreation projects officer Glenn Merrick said the work that has and continues to be done by local contractors is exceptional and the play spaces are looking great.

“The extremely valuable community contributions made in the planning process mean each playground has unique components, with accessibility improvements a real feature across all the sites,” he said.

“At Mogareeka, this has taken the form of accessible parking and pathways linking the car park, playground toilets and barbecue areas, while in Cobargo the project provides accessible pathways linking the new picnic shelter and accessible table to the playground, with the inclusion of new bench seating and a wheelchair accessible drinking fountain. Both parks have an accessible nest swing with rubber soft fall base to provide access for all abilities.

“Also of note at Mogareeka is the inclusion of a large wooden [pirate] ship feature piece to replace the ship that was destroyed by floodwaters.

“The playground at Cobargo has been constructed in traditional colours to represent the heritage values of the town, and features a rainbow-coloured slide and 25-metre flying fox, while the original old rocking horse has been repaired by council’s works staff and retained.”

NSW Member for Bega Andrew Constance said he is pleased to see the delivery of these playgrounds across the southeast region.

“Now more than ever, our kids want to access the outdoors and great play facilities after what has been a very difficult time for them,” said Mr Constance.

“Kids need outside activities for play and social reasons, but so too do parents. The completion of these playgrounds will be the start of bringing communities back together in a fun, social atmosphere.

“With restrictions around COVID-19 starting to lift, I would ask parents to still be mindful of their children and others when they do head back to the local playground.

“Please don’t take your kids out if they are unwell, and, if possible, sanitise or wash their hands before and after play for the benefit of all.”

Stay up to date with the latest information on COVID-19 restrictions in NSW – including regulations relating to playgrounds – here.

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