Kooralbyn aviation playground design wins accolades for Scenic Rim

MAIDEN FLIGHT: Mayor Greg Christensen takes the new equipment for a test drive at the opening of the Billabong Park playground. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
MAIDEN FLIGHT: Mayor Greg Christensen takes the new equipment for a test drive at the opening of the Billabong Park playground. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

SCENIC Rim's aviation themed playground at Kooralbyn has been highly commended in the 2018 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards.

Council's Billabong Park Playground at Salisbury Avenue was highly commended in the awards by the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia for its accessibility, elements that inspire imaginative play and commitment to playground safety.

Kooralbyn Valley Community Development Association president Jan Whitehead said the community was grateful for the playground and pleased to see that families were now using the park as a place to catch up with friends and watch their children play.

The playground also kept children occupied during the Kooralbyn markets held each month at the park.

She said community volunteers were now in the process of creating recreation infrastructure for teenagers and young adults, something which was sorely needed in the valley.

“We are thankful to council for providing this amazing space for the younger kids,” she said. “KVCDA has held working bees to clean up and enhance the playground.

“Also, with help from the community and the generosity of the Ramada Resort, we are now able to provide the older kids with something to do as well.

“We have installed a half-court for basketball and cleaned up the old driving range, which the resort is allowing us to use as a sporting field for cricket and softball.

“We also have use of the old airstrip hangar, where we are looking to create an opp shop, men’s shed and canteen for the sports field.”

Mayor Greg Christensen was one of the test pilots for the park's centrepiece aircraft play frame before the playground's official opening in August last year.

Cr Christensen said he was thrilled Scenic Rim had been recognised in the biennial awards which celebrate excellence and innovation in creative play spaces across Australia.

“It's great to hear that, once again, our commitment to creating modern, engaging community spaces is being recognised for the strength of its design,” he said.

“Sustainable play spaces not only need to be interesting and engaging, they also need to pass the test of safe enjoyment with challenge for a wide range of abilities.

“As the first 'pilot' of the aeroplane play frame, I was delighted that it passed the grandparent test for future visitors.”