Play cen­tre hours re­turn to nor­mal

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Op­er­a­tion of the Kar­ratha Indoor Play Space is be­ing re­viewed by the City of Kar­ratha in re­sponse to chang­ing lev­els of pa­tron­age and com­mu­nity de­mand.

At their Fe­bru­ary meet­ing, City coun­cil­lors con­sid­ered whether to con­tinue a trial of new open­ing hours at the indoor play space which be­gan in Term 1 and did away with af­ter­noon ses­sions af­ter 1pm on school­days, or change them back to the pre­vi­ous hours of 9am-noon and 2pm-5pm.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the City be­gan the trial af­ter a sur­vey found 75 per cent of users pre­ferred to use the cen­tre be­tween 9am and 1pm.

How­ever, he ad­mit­ted there had been some neg­a­tive feed­back from par­ents who found the time changes in­con­ve­nient.

“While the play cen­tre is not well pa­tro­n­ised be­tween noon and 2pm, there was some nega- tive feed­back about (it) clos­ing dur­ing those hours,” he said.

“Coun­cil con­sid­ered the find­ings of a ser­vice re­view that has been un­der­taken at the fa­cil­ity and unan­i­mously de­cided that, based on feed­back from the com­mu­nity, the indoor play space should re­turn to the orig­i­nal op­er­at­ing hours.”

An amended res­o­lu­tion bring­ing the cen­tre’s open­ing hours back to those of 2016 was passed by the coun­cil.

The cen­tre will now be open from 9am-noon and from 2pm-5pm, Mon­days-Fri­day dur­ing the school term; from 9am5pm on school hol­i­day week­days and on all week­ends.

Coun­cil­lor Daniel Scott said com­mu­nity sen­ti­ment was for the cen­tre to be as ac­ces­si­ble as pos­si­ble.

“The com­mu­nity de­mand is for it to be open,” he said.

The coun­cil also re­quested for a re­port to be done look­ing at op­tions for the indoor play cen­tre’s fu­ture use and de­velop- ment, with man­age­ment by a pri­vate op­er­a­tor one pos­si­bil­ity.

Mr Long said a chil­dren’s play cen­tre was a valu­able ser­vice for the com­mu­nity but the vast ma­jor­ity in WA were pri­vately run by com­pa­nies spe­cialised in the field, rather than by coun­cils.

“The Kar­ratha play cen­tre fa­cil­ity is one of only two lo­cal gov­ern­ment-run fa­cil­i­ties amongst the more than 40 indoor play cen­tres op­er­ated in WA,” he said.

“Coun­cil in­ten­tion has al­ways been to re­lo­cate the chil­dren’s indoor play equip­ment to al­ter­na­tive premises, al­low­ing for the en­tire Youth Shed build­ing to be fo­cused on cater­ing to the in­creas­ing de­mand for youth ser­vices, rather than chil­dren’s play.”

Mr Long said youth ser­vices were a “key is­sue” for the City com­mu­nity, hav­ing con­sis­tently ranked in the top five pri­or­ity ar­eas for re­spon­dents to the An­nual Com­mu­nity Sur­veys since 2013.

Picture: Chris Lees

Mar­tika Trieb en­joys the ball pit at The Youth Shed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.