Play­ground won’t be cut

North Coast Times - - NEWS - Lucy Jarvis

A “COM­MON sense” stance saw City of Wan­neroo coun­cil­lors vote against cut­ting off the top of the Fred Stubbs Park play­ground so shade sails could be lower.

The coun­cil con­sid­ered a re­port on in­stalling the shade sails at their Septem­ber meet­ing and voted against a re­port rec­om­mend­ing the re­moval of the high­est parts of the play­ground to re­duce the im­pact on views from nearby prop­er­ties.

The City re­ceived two pe­ti­tions in May, with a 693-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion re­quest­ing shade sails and another with one sig­na­ture that ob­jected to them.

Staff held con­sul­ta­tion with res­i­dents about al­ter­na­tives, in­clud­ing sug­ges­tions to move or mod­ify the play­ground.

The re­port said it would cost $141,000 to sink the play­ground about 1m, $27,000 to re­move the high­est climbable sec­tion or $513,151 to move it nearer to the toi­let block. All es­ti­mated costs in­cluded $25,000 for shade sail in­stal­la­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Gly­nis Parker, who is up for re-elec­tion this month, moved an amend­ment to in­stall shade sails with no change to ex­ist­ing equip­ment.

“Fred Stubbs has al­ways been a pub­lic space,” she said, adding it “des­per­ately needs shade to of­fer sun pro­tec­tion to young users”.

“I can­not sup­port set­ting a prece­dent that res­i­dents’ views over pub­lic spa­ces should be­come a con­sid­er­a­tion when im­ple­ment­ing es­sen­tial changes,” she said.

Cr Dot New­ton, who also hopes to be re-elected on Oc­to­ber 21, said it was a “com­mon sense amend­ment”.

“Why would we go to the trou­ble of al­ter­ing play equip­ment that kids ob­vi­ously love us­ing?” she said.

“The in­ci­dence of skin cancer is so high, why would we not put a sail up be­cause some­one’s view would be blocked?

“It’s an iconic area, it’s well used and this will only add to the en­joy­ment of those fam­i­lies this sum­mer.”

Cr Sa­man­tha Fenn echoed the “com­mon sense” com­ment and said the coun­cil had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to use “money wisely”.

Cr Nat San­galli, who co-founded the Save Our Fore­shore Quinns group be­fore be­ing elected to the coun­cil in 2015, sup­ported the amend­ment over op­tions to move the play­ground.

“Our com­mu­nity fought a long, hard bat­tle to get Fred Stubbs Park back to where it was,” she said.

Thank­ing staff for con­sult­ing res­i­dents, Cr Brett Treby said there was “no case that pro­tects the rights of views”.

Com­mon sense wins the day: Coun­cil will leave the Fred Stubbs play­ground alone.

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