Shade for Perth playground after children ‘burnt on slide’

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Stock image

SHELTER is being installed at a Yokine playground after children were reportedly burnt on a slide, despite objection from City of Stirling administration.

Stirling Council voted at its December 3 meeting to install an artificial shade structure at Royal Lockwood Reserve, which went against the City officers’ recommendation to stick to using trees to provide shade.

Councillor Joe Ferrante brought the issue to council in November “in response to reports of children being burnt on the slide”.

A report presented at the meeting said natural shade was the City’s preferred approach under its playground policy.

“45 trees were planted during relatively recent reserve upgrades (in 2017) and a further three trees were planted following completion of the upgrade,” it said.

“Residents in the area have access to an artificially shaded playground at Reader Reserve, Yokine which is located approximately 800m away.”

Aerial image of Royal Lockwood Reserve in Yokine in October 2019. Image: City of Stirling

The high cost of artificial shade structures was given as another reason for objection, with a combination of artificial and natural shade only provided for larger parks, including nearby Reader, Grenville and Robinson reserves and Yokine Regional Open Space.

The report said when the 45 trees planted in 2017 and three 1.8m trees planted in 2018 were fully established the playground would be “sufficiently shaded”, though not fully shaded during the middle of the day.

But councillors voted unanimously to install a temporary shade sail or sails until the trees provide adequate sun protection and change the playground policy to allow temporary artificial shade at smaller playgrounds where “practical and cost effective”.

The installation is expected to cost about $30,000 as well as maintenance costs and could require removal of the three 1.8m trees.

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