Tina Petroff, Waterlily Playscape Inc.
For decades our local voluntary committees in Ocean Shores (OS) have fought for basic needs for our kids, and for decades we were told that Byron Shire Council (BSC) had no funding for the north of the Shire. Never mind that OS is the largest residential area in the Shire contributing a third of the overall rates!
For the past six years our Waterlily Park Playscape Committee has been planning and creating our playscape and securing hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and government grants to build this natural space to the community’s vision and specifications.
It’s the community that’s driven the needs of this area, and we’re tired of keeping quiet about the way this Council has treated our people.
The Basket Swing was the first play piece that BSC installed in Waterlily Park in 2017 in accordance with our professional Playscape Plan. After that, BSC took away popular gym equipment; they buried our previous swing set in the tip. They re-arranged where all our play pieces were supposed to be on our approved plan, and when we alerted the community on our website about it they threatened to return our $418,608 grant to the government if we didn’t withdraw our open letter.
Now Council wants to remove the balance beam and stepping logs (that improve mobility and cognitive skills) and relocate the Basket Swing and bench seat to the boggy area below the Rock Dragon because BSC says they are too ‘isolated’. They are just metres away from the Little Kids Swings.
If you are one of the many dads, mums or families who tell us ‘this swing is a little piece of heaven’ in the cool breeze under the shade of this beautiful mature tree, then let Council know how out of step they are by moving the Basket Swing into the hot western sun against all the community consultation we undertook. Email council’s Phil Holloway at: [email protected] and the GM Mark Arnold at: [email protected].