Play centre hours return to normal
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.
Martika Trieb enjoys the ball pit at The Youth Shed.