'Hideous' playground in NSW town ridiculed by residents: 'What's the point?'

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Residents of a NSW town have criticised a new kids playground inside a local shopping village with dozens pointing out a number of issues with its design.

The play area at Lake Innes Village in Port Macquarie sparked anger among locals who said not only is it an "eyesore" but it's a "deathtrap" for kids, not to mention the comprehensive list of restrictions put in place.

One man voiced his concerns on Facebook this week taking aim at a sign which displays an overwhelming amount of activities being banned from the playground.

While some "make sense," such as no alcohol or smoking, locals couldn't help but wonder why running, rollerblading, bike riding or eating, are prohibited, arguing the "joy has been sucked out" of it.

Restrictions sign at Port Macquarie playground
Locals took aim at the sign of restrictions and argued there was no fun to be had at the Port Macquarie playground. Source: Facebook

"Might have been a cheaper sign to make a list of what IS allowed," one person wrote on the post.

"What's the point of a playground if you can't do play?" another questioned.

One person thought the banned activities were all "pretty reasonable expectations".

Confusion over 'dangerous' and 'ugly' design

The design, which is inspired by the natural wild, was a hot topic in the community Facebook group with dozens pointing out it's not appealing to kids.

Some admitted they were so thrown by a "dead-looking" tree and "weird" leaf addition that they thought it was a "sculpture" not a playground.

"I had no idea it was supposed to be a playground. Looks like a weird sculpture attempt," one said.

"It's hideous. Out of everything they could of put there, that’s what they chose," another said.

The playground is designed to encourage 'creativity and discovery-based play,' but some residents said it's dangerous. Source: Lake Innes Village
The playground is designed to encourage 'creativity and discovery-based play,' but some residents said it's dangerous. Source: Lake Innes Village

One mum said she thought the playground was "a statue" so she told her kids to get off it.

But the biggest concern among residents was the fact it "looked dangerous," as it encourages kids to hang and swing from the tree's branches.

While some didn't mind the look of it, they questioned its suitability with one furious local branding it a "deathtrap."

According to one mum, at least one child already has been injured, and she called out centre management for creating a playground that "wasn't suitable for kids."

"I noticed a young child lose her balance and fall off the structure nearly hitting her head on the concrete surrounding it," she claimed. "Just a matter of time before a serious injury occurs!"

Another called for the playground to be fenced off.

New playground explained as committee speaks out

Despite locals' concerns, Lake Innes Village Centre Management defended the design and said it observed "many families enjoying the space" and it has not had any reports of injuries.

"The playscape structure was designed as an interactive art and play space intended to promote creativity and discovery-based play," a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

"It was designed in line with the natural environment in which the centre resides as well as integrating elements of Port Macquarie environment with the nod to the koala and tree."

Responding to the list of restrictions in place, management said "the centre is focused on customer safety and comfort" and as such, "compliance is of significant importance".

"We have signage outlining rules of play typical of most playground environments," it said, noting restrictions are around no rough play and parental supervision.

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