City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson joined Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison MP on Thursday to officially open the new Sensory Friendly Stay and Play Zone at the Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space.
The new play zone consists of play equipment and landscaping to complement the existing Inclusive Play Space equipment, and provides a place to connect with natural elements, enjoy the shade from tree canopies, take a break, be alone or meet with others.
New play equipment includes shops and other shelters for children to play in and around, a small stage, and a range of 3D hills. There is also a children’s table with seating, and a fairy-tale throne that can be used as a reading area with seats facing it.
With accessible pathways throughout, the zone also features new park benches, soft fall, a ‘Sheoak Forest with large and small trees, and many shrubs. There is also opportunity for nature play with rocks, natural wooden posts and range of plantings to explore.
The project is funded with a grant of $186,900 from the Victorian Government’s Local Sports Infrastructure Fund and a further contribution of $124,600 from the City of Ballarat.
The Local Sports Infrastructure Fund helps communities by supporting shovel-ready projects across five funding streams including Indoor Stadiums/Aquatic Facilities, Female Friendly Facilities, Community Sports Lighting, Community Facilities, and Planning.
Cr Hudson said the new Sensory Friendly Stay and Play Zone would be loved by local families and visitors of all ages.
“It is a pleasure to open this new Sensory Friendly Play Zone, which will ensure the Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space caters to people of all abilities and sensory needs,” he said.
“It’s great to see the hard work and strong advocacy from the City of Ballarat’s Disability Advisory Committee culminate in such a wonderful addition to the Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space.”