Noosa Junction Landscaped Playground
WE NEED YOUR SIGNATURE to petition Noosa Shire Council for a contemporary landscaped play space in the Junction that is safe and accessible for children in the 0-5 year age range.
DON'T DELAY, HAVE YOUR SAY: there are plans to further develop the Junction (e.g. the Coles expansion) so it's essential that the community raise its voice now with respect to how the space in and around Coles is designed. It is also unclear what the plans are for the old nursery site at the eastern end of the Coles car park. This is the nursery site that backs on to the hill at Wyandra Street.
PLAYSPACE DEMAND: There are no suitable gated playgrounds in the Noosa area catering to children in the 0-5 age-group.
- Playgrounds are outdated and poorly planned, including the recent expansion at Pirates Park. There are no playgrounds with ramp access up to the equipment for parents with prams and/or wheelchairs who may also have mobile toddlers. This is disgraceful!
- Pirates Park is dangerous for children in the 0 to 5 age-group.
- Older children barrel through Pirates Park at high speeds.
- The park is often very full, indicating that there is a high demand for playspaces in the Noosa area, and that Pirates Park does not adequately cater to this need.
- At Pirates Park, lots of equipment has been fitted onto a tight site, making it difficult to navigate quickly when full of children - e.g. if attempting to 'shepherd' a two-year old through tricky equipment, especially if pregnant.
- Much of the equipment in many of Noosa's parks have large gaps and openings which younger children can fall through. There is also poor access onto the play equipment itself in many of Noosa's parks. E.g. large rungs, ladders or climbing walls, rather than steps or ramps.
- Playground design has come a long way! Noosa needs a landscaped and innovative playground that functions as a destination for locals and tourists alike.
- A safe, gated space for adults with young children to meet and play**
- Close to shops and public transport.
- Shade and rain cover so playspace can be enjoyed in all weather conditions.
- Scope to develop adjacent day and night dining outlets so parents can have coffee or eat meals out, while their children play safely.
- Bolster a sense of community, especially among families with young children.
**Scope to extend the age-group accessibility of the park. E.g. a young children's and older children's area, separated by a gate.
DETAILED OUTLINE (below) or REFER TO OUR WEBSITE: https://noosajunctionplay.wordpress.com
- Noosa Junction (the Junction) is a local community area and retail precinct within the Noosa district. There has been recent business activity in the precinct with the opening or relocation of new shops, spaces and events. These changes create interest and thereby contribute new ‘life’ to the Junction, helping to bolster the micro economy and attract locals. Examples of activity include the relocation of Pizza Capers & MoFo Men's Apparel, the entry of Village Bicycle, Fiona's Fancies, Yeah Man Sushi, Sour Dough Bakery, Hairhouse Warehouse, Functional Fit, Harlem Hair, Elenbi Hair, S1Sushi, Trilogy Bicycles, Padstons, and initiatives such as the Threads Project and the Laneway and Flava Festivals, and the night market.
- However, many shops and spaces in the Junction are still vacant, suggesting that more needs to be done to rejuvenate and renew this retail/community strip.
- Currently, there is limited opportunity for passive recreation in the Junction. Adults with young children have nowhere to meet and enjoy safe play on the precinct, despite the existence of two large supermarkets and numerous other retail outlets, which draw many of us as families, to the Junction to shop. Lanyana Arcade is the one open-air arcade, and it is bordered by two busy roads and intersected by a third one. There is 1 other space outside Coles. However it is difficult to meet and play with small children in this space, who must be continually prevented from entering neighbouring retail outlets.
- There is a need for a purpose-built toddler playground in the Junction. Such a space would contribute to both community building and the ongoing business revitalisation of the Junction. A toddler playground would attract both locals and visitors to the Junction. Such a facility, if ‘done right’, would be another way to add the Junction to the list of available attractions in the wider Noosa Heads area, making it a ‘destination’ for parents and grandparents of young children, and visitors.
- To function as a destination, a facility of this nature should demonstrate a number of aspects. It should be:
- Thoughtfully and innovatively designed with equipment and space that caters to the 0 to 5 age-group.
- Celebrate a key theme and help to create identity in the Junction. Options could include the idea of Connection, or Activity, or Environmental awareness, or Ocean, or other.
- Provide a safe and large play space for children aged 0 to 5 years.
- Be gated and incorporate ramps.
- Be co-located with the existing retail precinct, meaning close to the Coles/ Bus Station/ IGA areas.
- Have connectivity to dining outlets or scope for the development of dining outlets, so that parents could lunch or dine while children are safely occupied.
- Provide appropriate covered areas that will permit play even in wet weather. Currently in the wider Noosa area, there are limited options for wet weather play for this age-group, with the exception of the local library and the indoor playground at Noosa Civic. Wet weather play options are particularly relevant for tourists who have small children, holidaying in Noosa during rainy season.
- Current playgrounds in and around Noosa are designed for older children in mind and are unsafe for smaller children. Many playgrounds are adjacent to waterways and are un-gated, e.g., Lions Park, Hastings Street, Pirates Park, Quamby Place Park.
- Play equipment at mostly ALL of Noosa’s parks contain too large a gap at the tops of climbing platforms for this age-group and have poor access on the structures themselves (e.g., a slide who’s only entrance is via a set of widely-spaced metal rungs, ladder or climbing wall). Therefore, parents must dash under and around cramped equipment to prevent young children from falling over high edges or through openings, which is especially difficult if you are on your own on the play equipment, with more than one young child, or are pregnant. In addition, there are no parks whose equipment can be accessed via a ramp, making such play spaces inaccessible for parents or grandparents who have mobile youngsters together with infants in prams or children in wheelchairs.
- The recent revitalisation of Pirates Park has been met with huge success, so much so that it is frequently full and inundated with children of all ages. Clearly there is a demand for children’s playgrounds in the area. There is poor egress around the equipment given the tight site size, and older larger children barrel through the playground at high speed. This makes Pirates Park a very dangerous and difficult place to play with children under the age of 6 years. You will notice many small children gravitating to the all-abilities chair that is at Pirates Park, the only enclosed space there.
- A suitably designed playspace that was situated in the Junction and that addressed these existing limitations would draw locals and visitors to the Junction, and be an asset to the Noosa area more broadly. Tourists from overseas, interstate and from further down the Coast often express disappointment at the poor quality of the play grounds in the Noosa area, often with the remarks "Is this it?". Surely we in the Noosa community can do better than this!
New developments in how we think about play space
- At present, many local municipalities are investing in the development of playspaces for their communities both here and overseas. Parks and Leisure Australia give out annual awards for the best playspace developments nationwide. These awards recognise excellence, creativity and innovation in the design and implementation of recreation projects.
- Research too, supports the benefits that parks and planned open space can have for a community. One large study done in 2013 by the science committee of the World Urban Parks organisation identified a range of beneficial factors across a variety of markers, e.g. health and wellbeing, biodiversity, house price, tourism and even social cohesion.
To Noosa Shire Council: this issue is important to us!
- It's imperative that key councillors at Noosa Shire Council are made aware of local demand and desire for a purpose-built 0-5 years playspace in the Junction. Signing this petition is one way of indicating that there is a demand for such a facility.
- Community playspace development has come a long way. There are annual, national awards for innovative playspace implementation, and Noosa Shire Council should be on this list! (See: http://www.parksleisure.com.au/about/awards-of-exc...). Thoughtful, well-designed playscapes activate public space. Thus, a place where parents can socialise with their young children benefits the entire community.
- Please add your signature if you support the development of such an initiative and facility in the Junction by Noosa Council.
- Mueller Park Universal Access Playground, Subiaco, WA.
About this petition