Galaxy playground, Sunbury. Photo / Sunbury Life.

Why there’s no sun shades at council playgrounds

Among the questions put to Hume City Council by ratepayers at its meeting on Monday 15 April included one about Sunbury’s out-of-order public toilets, a request for sunshades at the town’s children’s playgrounds, and a question about our aquatic centre…

Since Galaxy Park, Sunbury, is regarded as an accessible/inclusive playground, could council look at considering the inclusion of the following equipment and resources at the park to detail concerns of many parents/carers of disabled children who just want to give their kids the same enjoyment as a typical child:

  • A ramp be re-built to enable a mobility challenged child access to a slide and tunnel
  • The inclusion of a disabled bathroom fitted with an adult change table and a privacy screen
  • Fully fence the park to give parents/carers more confidence in managing challenged kids and
  • A disability swing

This question highlights the short comings of a playground that doesn’t quite fit the “accessible/inclusive” narrative.

A: Thank you for your question, we are investigating the requests for this site further to provide you with a response at the next council meeting.

Q: Can we possibly have sunshades placed over the equipment of at least one park in Sunbury? Several parks around Victoria (eg Halls Gap) have well built sunshades that permit families to enjoy the summer months outside. With so many families coming into the area, living on small blocks of land, it’s time to consider the daily needs of children and families.

A: Council only installs shade sails at early learning centres.

We are aware of the need for more shade over our play spaces. However, because we have 269 play spaces and growing, we need to consider where and how we provide shade equitably and in a manner that is safe and maintainable.

We also need to research whether shade sails are the appropriate product to use for shade or whether there is an item that is less maintenance and has a longer lifespan.

We aim to address this need in a Play Space Strategy or similar document in the near future, which will do the appropriate research and consideration to inform these decisions.

Q: Public toilets in Sunbury are found to be unusable many times why is this the case?

A: All public toilets are unlocked, cleaned and serviced every morning, seven days per week.

Toilets are clean and serviceable at opening time, unless they are vandalised in which case they are kept locked until repairs can be completed.

Council is unable to control the use of toilets during the day when unfortunately, they are sometimes subject to misuse and vandalism.

Q: Roundabouts are in need of attention especially in Macedon Street, Sunbury, why are they not looked after as the ones on O’Shanassy Street are?

A: The maintenance of the roundabouts in Macedon St are the responsibility of Department of Transport. Council has repeatedly advocated to Department of Transport to improve the level of maintenance in these areas.

Q: Can you provide information on what type of community consultation took place for the Sunbury Aquatic and Leisure Centre’s children’s outdoor redevelopment area?

A: The Sunbury community were invited to choose their favourite water play elements via the Participate Hume online consultation platform in September 2023.

The elements on offer included large, medium and smaller water play equipment. Community members were also given the opportunity to post comments, suggestions, photographs or drawings.

The top choices have been incorporated into the design of the new outdoor water play area.