Local Leaders | Innovation: Sparkling new playgrounds a sign of fruitful dialogue

The new playground at Ryrie Park.
The new playground at Ryrie Park.

The new playground at Ryrie Park is a great example of successful cooperation between the community and the council. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the amalgamation, there now seems to be a respectful and fruitful dialogue between the community and council staff.

Not just one but two sparkling new playgrounds in town. The Ryrie Park development shows which the way the wind is blowing, literally, and in terms of giving the people a say in how their new infrastructure should look.

The Recreation Ground too is finally getting the upgrade that's been on the books for quite some time. It's looking much more like a multi-age space with its new playground and improved playing fields.

When Palerang Council put out the plans to build a skate park at the Recreation Ground there was a great deal of opposition to that site from the parents of skateboarders. The site was regarded as unsuitable, being out of the way, having poor surveillance and being in an area mostly devoid of activity outside of scheduled sporting events.

Ryrie Park was regarded by the skaters, and to be fair, by professional skate park installation companies, as a better location. It was seen as a more central part of town which would provide a better experience for locals and visitors alike.

The problem was, and still is, that a much larger proportion of the community will not accept a skate facility in Ryrie Park and have made sure that council knows it. The recent poll on where to site the skaters did not include Ryrie Park. The two proposed sites are Bicentennial Park (McKellar Street) and, once again, the Recreation Ground.

I voted against the Rec. when it was first mooted because I can see the sense in having a facility in a more central location. But Bicentennial Park is far from central, and so the Recreation Ground now, with its ongoing upgrades, is the better site for Braidwood's skating fraternity.

 - Paul Cockram


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