IN THE SWING: Children enjoying play equipment at See Park, Grafton.
IN THE SWING: Children enjoying play equipment at See Park, Grafton. Debrah Novak

Playgrounds to be closed over safety fears

CLARENCE Valley Council could be looking at reducing the number of playgrounds in its parks in favour of building a number of bigger playgrounds in the future.

Council has slated 13 of its 62 playgrounds for closure after they were found to be unserviceable in a 2014 audit.

At its Tuesday meeting councillors learned play equipment at a number of parks had already been closed and others would be closed in the next few days.

The ultimate look of the council playgrounds will become more apparent next month when the consultants who did the audit, Kico Pty Ltd, will present an asset management plan to council.

The future of the playground in the Calypso Caravan Park concerned Mayor Richie Williamson.

It was one of the 13 slated for closure and Cr Williamson was concerned it would be a bad look for part of Yamba's premier tourist attractions to have orange tape around one of its facilities.

Deputy Mayor Andrew Baker moved to have the existing park equipment moved to Ford Park before the planned refurbishment of the Calypso complex.

"The reason is to discover if it is better to do this than have to do it again when we refurbish the entire Calypso area," Cr Baker said.

Councillors were also concerned about safety issues.

Cr Baker quizzed council's corporate, governance and works director Troy Anderson about safety problems.

"Is there something in the playgrounds today that could result in the playgrounds being closed tomorrow," Cr Baker said.

Mr Anderson replied the council monitored the equipment regularly and managed the risk on that basis.

Cr Jim Simmons said he was comfortable about closing off dangerous equipment in parks, but was concerned there was no loss of green space.

Mr Anderson said the equipment had either been removed or was fenced off from the public, but the rest of a park was open to the community.

Cr Margaret McKenna was unhappy park facilities had been closed off without community consultation.

"It appears some parks have been closed, I'm not happy they've been closed and fenced off without the community being told," Cr McKenna said.

"But I suppose the horse has bolted on that one."

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