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Council steps in over parent's playground gripe to explain 'odd' design

The criticism of the sandpit was dispelled by others, before the council explained its unique features.

Playground safety is often the source of contentious debate, with some Aussie parents constantly running after their children, assessing likely threats, while others take a more laid-back, 'they'll be right' approach.

So when one parent criticised the new disability playground at a Sydney park, his comments kicked up a storm of heated discussion.

Sharing a photo of Hunter Park at Balmoral Beach on Sydney's Lower North Shore, he implored others to see "what's wrong" with the way the sandpit is now designed.

A photo of the sandpit before Mosman Council made changes. A photo of the sandpit after the changes were made.
An Aussie dad's gripe with the changes made to a sandpit has kicked up a storm about how safe it is. Source: Facebook/Google Maps (Facebook/Google Maps)

"There is nothing to stop a kid from tumbling off the stone edge!" the dad said on the Mosman Living Facebook group page on Monday. "Such a long time to build the worst play area. I am so disappointed and angry at what the council has done compared to what could have been."

While some thought the feature was "really odd" for safety reasons, believing it was "designed by people who have no experience of looking after small people," the majority were overwhelmingly in favour of the sandpit.

"This is considered safe as the fall is under a metre and is directly onto soft ground," an early childhood educator commented.

Mosman Council explains playground's design

A Mosman Council spokeswoman confirmed the changes to the park and sandpit were made as part of the council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, and they have not received any complaints regarding the sandpit height.

"The park’s sand table has two places for wheelchairs to roll up underneath the sandpit, providing access for users to place their hands in the sand, and was developed with input from an accessibility specialist," she told Yahoo News.

A photo of the sandpit at Hunter Park in Mosman, with a circle around the whole underneath, supposedly meant for children to park their wheelchair so that they can be as close to the sandpit as possible.
The new sandpit and various other features in Hunter Park in Mosman have been improved to be more inclusive. Source: Mosman Council (Mosman Council)

"A ramp provides access to the sandpit digger so it can accommodate a wheelchair user. The park also has a trampoline that is built into the ground and is fully accessible. An inclusive swing is also due to be installed at the playground."

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