No matter your age or ability, the new “inclusive” playground at Thornton in North Penrith encourages all local residents to rediscover their inner child.
The state of the art playground, including structures imported from Finland, is the first playground in NSW to be designed for use by the whole community; from very young children to people with disabilities, parents and the elderly.
Disabilities Minister, Andrew Constance, officially opened the playground on Wednesday, declaring it a benchmark for the rest of the state.
“This playground is ultimately about kids, families and younger people who are going to use this playground for years to come,” he said.
“Everything we are doing in our communities should be about meeting individual needs and this playground achieves that goal; we all want to be loved, to build relationships and this development facilitates that.”
The playground has swing seats and a merry-go-round that can be accessed by people who are wheelchair bound, and equipment that encourages creative play and tests people’s strength and mobility.
Penrith MP, Stuart Ayres said that the playground was a collaborative effort.
“This is a fantastic collaboration by Urban Growth NSW and Penrith City Council… it is about new thinking, about testing new ideas and it will add greatly to the region,” he said.
Mr Constance said that in Thornton there are also plans to build supported accommodation, “for people who have been institutionalised for many years”.
“To see a development that has all these issues considered at the fore is testament to what the future holds for Penrith,” he said.
A second “inclusive playground” is being built at Jordan Springs.