Why did council prepare a playground strategy?

After the amalgamation of Bankstown and Canterbury Councils, it was decided a strategy for the new city was required to guide the future provision, development and management of playgrounds over the next 10 years. 

What have we heard from the community about playgrounds?

During the preparation of the former documents, extensive consultation was carried out with children and carers.  

Many people thought that existing equipment was too similar, and requested:

·  More innovative and challenging equipment

·  More variety of equipment and activity opportunities

·  ‘All abilities’ playgrounds to cater for children with a disability

·  High level regional playgrounds

·  Other recreation facilities near some playgrounds (courts, bike areas, skate areas)

·  More shady trees and natural areas around playgrounds

How was the plan prepared?


Local catchments are areas bounded by busy roads, to ensure that residents can easily walk to a playground without having to cross a main road.  96 Local Catchments have been identified in the Playground Strategy.  

District Catchments are larger areas that comprise a number of Local Catchments. District Catchments are bounded by State and major roads, railway lines and rivers and creeks that separate communities. 17 District Catchments have been identified, containing the 96 Local Catchments. 

Will playground provision be fairer?

YES.  Current provision is not equitable - for example the suburb of Punchbowl has a ratio of 1 playground for 3,378 people, while the suburb of Hurlstone Park has 1 playground for 532 people.

Will there be any large playgrounds?

The strategy divides playgrounds into 3 Play Levels – 1, 2 and 3.

Play Level 1 are the largest playgrounds, defined as ‘Play space destinations with high quality, diverse, unique and accessible play components, support facilities and settings’.

The strategy proposes that the City of Canterbury Bankstown has 19 Play Level 1 playgrounds.  Currently in the City there are 10 at this high level.

What is landscape play?

These play spaces will take the place of some Level 3 (basic) playgrounds.  Instead of conventional play equipment, there will be landscape features and basic structures to facilitate imaginative play (such as concrete animals or low balance elements).  This will make the smallest playgrounds more varied, and will be:

  A setting for play, rather than just play equipment provision

  Cheaper, long lasting, and more flexible than conventional playgrounds

  Places that emphasise the natural environment

  Designed for a particular site, so memorable

What about shade?

The Plan recommends:

·  Planting trees and landscape around all playgrounds and play spaces to provide natural shade and nature based play experiences

·  Shade sails will be installed only at larger playgrounds, and not to be seen as the standard way to provide shade.  They will be provided only in certain situations where natural shade is difficult to achieve or as an interim measure until trees grow to a suitable size 

What is happening in my area?

You can view the 17 District Catchments on Council’s website under ‘Have your say’

by using the links.  Each playground is numbered and you can view the recommendations for each site.

How can I view the playground strategy?

·  You can view the document on Council’s website under ‘Have your say’

·  Paper copies will be available at Bankstown and Campsie customer service centres, and all the libraries

How can I comment on the playground strategy?

You can make an on-line submission on Council’s website under ‘Have your say’ or send us your thoughts by:

STILL INTERESTED?  Read on to find out about the 6 main directions in the strategy

The 6 main directions in the playground strategy

1  Addressing Gaps and Areas of Oversupply

·  Address gaps in provision through higher quality and some new playgrounds and play spaces

2  Play Levels

·  Develop playgrounds and play spaces in accordance with Play Levels:

-  Play Level 1: play space destinations

-  Play Level 2: good quality playgrounds and play spaces with diverse activities

-  Play Level 3: more basic smaller playgrounds or Landscape Play

3  Play Space Destinations (Play Level 1)

·  Create play space destinations through enhancements to existing playgrounds and the creation of some new play space destinations.  This could include providing:

-  Unique, creative and diverse features within playgrounds

-  Adventure play spaces with a greater challenge focus

-  Distinctive nature play spaces

-  Youth and adult play spaces with skate, hardcourts and other play opportunities

4  Increased Play Scope

·  Broaden the scope of existing playgrounds and play spaces to increase the play opportunities and cater for a wider range of age groups and abilities with a particular focus on Play Level 1 and Play Level 2.  This includes providing diverse play opportunities that support toddlers, young children, older children, youth and adults

5  Play Facility Improvements

·  Undertake improvements to existing playgrounds and play spaces, taking Play Levels into consideration.  Place a particular focus on:

-  The maintenance and replacement of existing equipment and structures in accordance with the life span of equipment

-  Enhancements to play settings (picnic areas, seating etc)

-  Improved pathway connections

6  Integrating Nature

·  Increase the connection between nature and play through:

-  Increased trees around play equipment and settings for natural shade

-  Landscaping as part of the play experience (tree hut, reed maze)

-  Some less structured play spaces that have a greater landscape focus

-  Some higher level Nature Play Spaces