Children like Liam and Lachlan Clune, who were at the All Abilities Playground for the first time yesterday, are sad the flying fox is broken and cannot be used.
Children like Liam and Lachlan Clune, who were at the All Abilities Playground for the first time yesterday, are sad the flying fox is broken and cannot be used. Renee Pilcher

Faulty flying fox furore

THERE were no squeals of delight coming from the new All Abilities Playground flying fox at the weekend.

The new toy, for children living in and visiting the region, has been dismantled after a part was found to be faulty.

Gympie Council’s Works and Services chairman Larry Friske said the product was bought in good faith and the council was sending it right back to the manufacturer.

“It’s a mechanical failure, they are both not working,” Cr Friske said.

He expected the equipment to either come back fixed, or the faulty part replaced, by the playground’s official opening date on July 3.

“It’s a bit of a let down, considering the high quality of everything,” he said. He dispelled rumours the flying fox was taken down because it was unsafe.

A letter in Saturday’s edition of The Gympie Times suggested the All Abilities Playground was unsafe for children younger than five years old.

In Len Waddington’s letter, he wrote he would not take his 22-month-old grand-daughter to the new park if it was busy.

“I found that it was very nerve-wracking trying to make sure the little one never run in front of things like the flying fox or a swing,” Mr Waddington wrote.

He wrote a smaller park near the All Abilities Playground, earmarked for removal, should remain open for smaller children.

For Mr Waddington it was safer to take his youngest granddaughter to that park than the new one when it was busy.

“I just feel the design could have been better. I would have placed the swings and the flying fox together and fenced that area, rather than the entire park.

“I would ask the council not to remove the old playground and to seriously consider the few changes, it would be good for the under-fives and not that costly.”

Cr Friske yesterday said the council was considering keeping the smaller playground near the All Abilities open.

“We’re in the process of looking at what we can do with the park.

“But it depends on the budget,” he said.

If the council agreed and there were some dollars, Cr Friske said the smaller playground could be kept and improved.

“Personally I think it’s a good idea, there are so many people coming through to use the All Abilities and we need more equipment.”

But with a budget of about $1.5 million for parks maintenance it can be hard to rationalise more expense.

Gympie Times


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