Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 24 2017 Contents 112 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 24
PARKS, GARDENS + EQUIPMENT
A highlight of Brimbank's park network transformation came
in 2013, with the completion of a fully inclusive playspace at
Errington Reserve in St Albans, called Alice's Playspace.
In 2011, Council signed a memorandum of understanding
with the Touched By Olivia Foundation (TBOF) to create an
inclusive playspace in Brimbank.
TBOF specialises in providing local governments with
financial and in-kind support from the private sector in creating
all-inclusive playgrounds for children with physical and mental
disabilities, and their carers. This was the first time that TBOF had
entered into an agreement like this in Victoria.
In developing the playspace, there was extensive
consultation, design and research, culminating in a place
specifically designed for accessibility and inclusion, with spaces
that engage all of the senses, and allows carers to remain in
close proximity during play.
This project cost $700,000, with $200,000 provided from
the private sector, and was the beginning of Council partnering
with outside agencies to transform the public realm. The award-
winning park was opened in 2013.
In the years since Creating Better Parks was adopted,
Brimbank City Council has received awards recognising the
successes of the policy and plan, most recently from the
Planning Institute of Australia at the Victorian and National
Awards for Planning Excellence.
Creating Better Parks has been recognised through the
following industry awards:
• Planning Award at the Australian Institute of Landscape
Architects (AILA) Landscape Architecture Awards, Victorian
• Design Award for Ardeer Community Park & Playground at
the AILA Landscape Architecture Awards, Victorian chapter
• Award of Excellence for Play Space Award -- Category B, for
Alice's Playspace from Parks and Leisure Australia (2013)
• Planning Excellence Award in the category 'From Plan to
Place', Planning Institute of Australia Victorian Awards for
Planning Excellence, for the transformation of the public
• Planning Excellence Award Commendation in the Category
'From Plan to Place', Planning Institute of Australia National
Awards for Planning Excellence, for the transformation of the
public realm (2016).
Where to now? Creating even better parks
In 2016, a review of Creating Better Parks was undertaken.
This review was based on Council's recognition of the need
to reposition Creating Better Parks, and the feedback from an
online survey. The purpose of the review was to:
• document achievements to date
• seek to understand how the community felt with the
investment to date
• understand what the community saw as possible gaps or
new ideas for the coming years
• propose what is needed in the future to further develop
Brimbank's urban landscape, while completing the policy
and plan's original intention.
A SurveyMonkey questionnaire resulted in 239 responses
where more than 80 per cent of respondents said that their park
experience had been positively changed by the transformed
Council's investment had changed people's relationship to
the park network, with many positive comments submitted,
such as the following: 'It adds a community feel to the suburbs,
and makes you feel better about where you live.'
Instead of the scepticism of 2008, the community of 2016
loves the park network; families and community groups use the
parks, and feel that their lifestyle and sense of community has
changed. By having a quality park network, residents are more
physically active and are more connected to both where they
live and their neighbours.
The updated policy and plan identifies a further 156 parks to
be upgraded in future capital works programs, subject to budget
consideration. Through this process, Council was also able to
identify opportunities for new functions within the transformed
In 2017, Brimbank City Council will continue to implement
the Creating Better Parks vision, including the commencement
of a brand-new park development in Sunshine at the former
Sunvale Primary School site.
Council's strategic and proactive approach to transforming the
municipal landscape has ensured the future livability of Brimbank,
and has demonstrated that policy, design and advocacy are
central to a whole-of-organisation approach to livability.
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