12 July 2023

Work to start on long-awaited all abilities playground at Stuart Park

| Jen White
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Concept design of a wheelchair-accessible carousel.

A wheelchair-accessible carousel similar to this design will be a feature of the new Stuart Park All Ages All Abilities playground. Photos: Umbaco Landscape Architects/Wollongong City Council.

Work is set to start on the first stage of a $1.4 million playground at Stuart Park for children, young people and adults with disabilities.

Last month’s Wollongong City Council meeting agreed to award a tender for construction of the All Ages All Abilities (AAAA) playground and associated works.

The University of Wollongong, the Disability Trust and council worked together to form The Playground Project, which worked with young people and adults with a disability, including those with intellectual disabilities, to understand their preferences for the park.

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Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery said it had taken some time to plan the playground.

“It’s important we get this right and that is why we have worked collaboratively with a range of stakeholders on the delivery of this playground,’’ he said.

“We needed to consider what will deliver the best play options for the city, as well as how this site is integrated into the broader uses of Stuart Park and the key role it plays in the city’s social landscape as well as its cultural and historical significance.”

A map showing where the playground will be situated.

The playground will be located south of the existing children’s playground at the northern end of the park.

Work on the playground will include new footpaths, installation of playground equipment, including softfall, landscaping works, new park furniture and construction of new disabled vehicle bus bays.

The project is jointly funded by the Federal and NSW Governments, council and community and business supporters.

Balance beams will be included in the playground.

Balance beams will be a feature of the new playground.

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said council was committed to supporting people with disability to access all aspects of community life, including play opportunities.

“It’s been a privilege to be able to work with community members and local organisations to come up with a design that is inclusive and offers a real variety of fun play options,” Mr Doyle said.

“There has been a considerable amount of community interest in this project. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has shared their support to make this possible.”

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