Ingham Daily Press

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Park life: New Rotary playground sparks youthful joy

A SPECIAL buzz erupted in the centre of town this week as the revamped Rotary Park opened its doors for the first time.

Within in minutes of the playground’s opening on Monday it was swamped by youngsters of all ages.

From parents with toddlers to leaping early teens, the park was buzzing.

Iconic Ingham barber Tony Seminara, who celebrated 40 years in business last year, watched on as his grandson scaled the new apparatus.

He said: ‘I didn’t know it was opening. But he knew. He said: “Come on, it’s opening at 4 pm!”

‘It’s absolutely fantastic – and great for the young people here.’

The new design reflects Hinchinbrook’s agricultural heritage, with a cane train, tractor and sugar refinery among its features.

Ingham Daily Press has contacted the council to ask how much the publicly funded project cost and is awaiting a response.

Mayor Ramon Jayo said ‘The inspiration for the new playground at Rotary Park drew on Ingham’s rich sugarcane history.

‘The playground features play pieces that were custom designed for the Rotary Park Playground.

‘These include a cane train, sugar refinery and green tractor. Other elements include wheelchair carousel, three bay swing, cocowave swing and climbing net.’

Nikita Burns, who designed the park, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to deliver a playground of this calibre for the town of Ingham.

‘Rotary Park will become an invaluable asset for the community drawing residents and families from afar.

‘It will become a buzzing hub, filled with endless climbing, swinging, sliding, running, laughter and play for all.’

Although the park affords children no protection from the sun at this stage, plans are in place to start to build protective shade sails in October.

A council spokesperson said: ‘At council’s general meeting, held Tuesday 27 July 2021, council awarded tender HSC 21/16 Design and Construct – Shade Structure for Rotary Park Playground to Urban Play Pty Ltd.

‘The Rotary Park shade structure is fully funded under Phase Two of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI)Program.  This program supports local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia, supporting jobs and the resilience of local economies to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 Pandemic.’

Below is a summary park’s new features:

Cane Train

• Designed on the shape form, scale and colour of the Ingham cane train, the multi levelled play structure is over 11m long and tells a tale of history as it takes children on an exciting play journey; and

• The open design and ground level play activities makes the cane train suitable for a range of ages and abilities.

Sugar Refinery

• Inspired by the local sugar refineries, this piece is packed full with play inside and out, top to bottom. Artistically designed artwork represents the sugarcane and sugar, elevating the agricultural theme; and

• The tower provides play for a range of ages with differing slide heights and graded climbing challenges.

Green Tractor

• Highlighting the sugar process, the bespoke green tractor symbolises the harvest of the sugarcane filled with play elements that encourage social play, cognitive play, creative play and social play.

Wheelchair Carousel

• A wheelchair carousel provides play opportunities for everyone – regardless of their abilities;

• Designed and tested at the KOMPAN Play Institute, an institute that has been working with children with disabilities to test and develop equipment and solutions since the early 1990’s; and

• Ground level design makes the carousel accessible to everyone, with a bench that can be used by parents, carers or those who are less confident or physically agile.

Three Bay Swing

• A three bay swing with varied swing types provides endless swinging opportunities for people of various ages and abilities; 

• The shallow Birds Nest ‘Swing facilitates easy transfer from a wheelchair or assisted device. The openness and spaciousness of the seat supports varied body positions, seated, lying, standing and also allows for more users. A rubber bumper on the seat ensures a nice, tactile grip and prevents users sliding out; and

• A ‘You and Me Swing’ seat.

Cocowave Swing

• An irresistible invitation for all to swing together. Standing, lying or sitting children will swing together whilst working on their balance skills and social skills.

Climbing Net

• Kids can put their ninja skills to the test as they make their way across this obstacle course. Be quick and careful not to touch the ground!

The installation of the Rotary Park playground equipment was funded under Phase One of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program. The installation of the softfall in Rotary Park playground was funded under Phase Two of the LRCI Program.

Rotary Park Drinking Fountain

Council is excited to announce that a new drinking fountain has been installed in Rotary Park playground. Installing the drinking fountain aims to encourage the community to embrace reusable water bottles and reduce the amount of disposable plastic bottles that are entering landfill, or end up as rubbish in the ocean.

The design concept considered the key factors of attractiveness, ease of use, and cleanliness as research shows that people are more likely to utilise a drinking fountain which displays these features. The design concept is extremely eye catching as it features Australia’s largest single drop waterfall, Wallaman Falls, and the facility will allow for easy refill of water bottles.

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