Swinging forward for liberty
  • Thursday 12 February 2009

Sunshine Coast Council’s service delivery committee endorsed a recommendation yesterday to allocate over $74,450 to install two donated Liberty Swings.

The recommendation to install the swings and to develop a strategy identifying future locations across the Coast will go to the full council for endorsement at next week’s Ordinary Meeting.

Mayor Bob Abbot has offered to fund the $74,450 from his Councillor Emergent Capital Works fund.

Council received two offers of donation for the supply of a Liberty Swing, a revolutionary new concept in playground swing equipment, which prompted a review of the most appropriate locations for the swings.

A comprehensive review of 24 sites identified Fraser Park, Golden Beach and Cotton Tree Park, Cotton Tree as preferred locations.

Council addressed a number of criteria in the review to ensure compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act, Council’s Access Policies and to ensure users receive the best possible experience.

Proximity to complementary infrastructure such as appropriate car parking, toilet facilities, fencing and shade, and the potential for interaction with able-bodied children within existing play spaces were just some of the criteria considered.

Variety Queensland, who donated the swings, indicated preferred locations of Tickle Park Coolum and the Kings Beach area Caloundra. However, when ranked against other locations, it was considered these areas would not provide the best experience available for users of the swing.

If adopted at the next week’s Ordinary Meeting, Council will consider an allocation of $20,000 in the 09/10 budget to develop a regional policy for all-abilities playgrounds. Engaging key community stakeholders in this process will put Council in a position to better assess and cater for the needs of specific users.

Rigorous routine inspections are required following the installation of Liberty Swings, as recommended by the manufacture, including 19 inspections within the first four weeks and regular inspections required for the life of the Liberty Swing . Council will need to commit a total of $8400 per swing each year in the annual budget to address the inspection requirements and subsequent maintenance and repairs.