Sorry kids, Yogi’s going

WODONGA Council will move ahead with its plan to give play equipment the flick in favour of more “open green spaces” at two of the city’s playgrounds.

Play equipment at Sister Willett Park and Acacia Crescent Reserve will be decommissioned, saving the council $3938 in maintenance costs each year, while equipment at Felix Grundy Park, including a Yogi bear see-saw, will be replaced with a single piece of equipment.

Councillors unanimously approved the move at last night’s council meeting, where the final stage of the city’s playground consultation for this year was tabled.

Cr Eric Kerr said the consultation process about the council’s 66 playgrounds would continue each year, and he drew attention to the phrase “open green space”.

“It doesn’t mean a blank space,” he said.

“It means we can have really creative play environments.”

The plan to get rid of the equipment at the two grounds was first floated after community consultation in May, in which only 30 people took part.

A second round of community consultation was held in October and Cr Michael Fraser said the results meant the recommendations stayed.

The report from those consultations showed that keeping the equipment at Acacia Crescent and Sister Willett would cost $1969 per playground each year, while removing the equipment would cost $3144.

The report stated that 47 per cent of people wanted Acacia Crescent to become open space, while no one reported to using the equipment at Sister Willett regularly.

The report also suggested the council should enhance Tooley’s Park and maintain Max Gray Park with more play equipment for older children.

It said Arthur Dunstan Park should be maintained with play equipment left alone, but that possible equipment for older children should be looked at.

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