Stay Away Ground

SOME Lewiston residents are boycotting the playground on Hayman Road, Lewiston, citing safety concerns.

The possibility of soil contamination at the site was raised in January, due to imported soil used for fill from the railway at Long Plains.

Fencing and signage issues are now being discussed.

Lewiston resident, Charmaine Dos Santos, who lives near the playground on Pederick Road, has stopped using the facility for safety reasons.

“I have rung the council numerous times about a number of issues regarding the playground,” Charmaine said.

“There is no second fence, it is on an 80km/h road and it’s just not safe.

“When the playground was opened, I rang with my concerns and they assured me that there would be children crossing signs and nothing has happened.

“The fence progressively went missing as well.”

Charmaine also acknowledged the amount of people using the park after hours, and the lack of lighting to highlight the playground.

“I’ve gone there and there are profanities drawn all over the soft fall, with soft drink or alcohol spilt all over it,” she said.

“The place is not monitored enough, the speed limit is wrong, there are no double fences and there are also dogs off leads.

“I have given up, I just don’t go there anymore.”

Cr Anne Picard and Cr Karen McColl also questioned why no signs were currently in place, and councillor Ditroia added, “it wouldn’t be a big cost to have some good display signs saying, there are children playing in the playground.”

The fence surrounding the equipment has been stolen and vandalised on several occasions, in-turn costing council and the residents many thousands of dollars, time and resources.

Council prepared a report outlining two options to rectify the lack of fencing, however, with the area residing within a floodplain, options are limited.

Cr Steve Jones questioned why there was even talk about fencing when there is no statutory requirement for a fence to be around that play area.

“What duty of care is placed on parents to look after their kids?” he questioned.

“Why isn’t there a sign to say the duty of care is on the parents to look after their kids?

“I would suggest talk to the parents to make sure they look after their kids, I mean that’s what we used to do in the old days.”

Mayor Tony Flaherty echoed councillor Jones’ sentiment agreeing, “duty of care is with the parents.”

However, Cr Joe Daniele weighed in and offered his opinion.

“I think it’s our responsibility, we provide the venue, we are responsible,” he said.

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