Fraser Coast council parks crew member Brett Senior shows Corbin Sweeney how to use the digger.
Fraser Coast council parks crew member Brett Senior shows Corbin Sweeney how to use the digger. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

Park is now fun and games for all

A PLAY at the park isn't always fun and games for parents of disabled children. In fact, it can sometimes be quite a stressful experience.

Just ask Hervey Bay mum Nerida Baton, who cannot take her eyes off her 10-year-old son Connor at any time – let alone while he plays at any of the Fraser Coast's playgrounds.

“Connor's a flight risk. He's intellectually impaired, has ASD and borderline cerebral palsy,” she said.

“So if we go to one of the local parks I have to watch him like a hawk in case he runs on to the road or out of sight.”

As of today, however, Connor and children of all ages and abilities have somewhere safe, fun and challenging to play alongside their friends and family members in Hervey Bay.

The Seafront All Abilities Playground at Pialba will be officially opened at 10am and everyone's invited.

It features a wide range of accessible, inclusive play equipment and experiences including a swirling maze, swings to suit all abilities, an interactive musical turtle, public art and a movement-activated sound feature that plays 18 recordings.

It is on a 4000-square metre site with a sheltered barbecue, accessible toilets and gardens.

“It's fantastic,” Ms Baton said. “It's not your usual park – it's got something for kids of all abilities.

“Here, Connor can run, play and experience new sounds and textures with other children.

“I will definitely be bringing my family here often.”

Acting Mayor Julie Arthur will open the new playground this morning.

“We are fortunate that Pialba was chosen as one of the preferred sites,” she said.

“This is truly a community project, with the State Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council providing funding, and design and construction staff and the community fully supporting the project with advice, ideas and lots of enthusiasm.

“I have no doubt that many families will benefit from and enjoy this exciting play space.”



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