Playground delay irks residents

Shellharbour resident Max Clay, who is annoyed that a beloved park has been out of action for almost six months. Picture: DAVID HALL

Shellharbour resident Max Clay, who is annoyed that a beloved park has been out of action for almost six months. Picture: DAVID HALL

SIX months is too long to fix play equipment, in the eyes of one Shellharbour resident.

Max Clay has criticised Shellharbour City Council over the time it has taken to repair play equipment at Bardsley Park, next to Shellharbour Surf Club.

Mr Clay said the equipment had been roped off in November last year and only re-opened last week.

"I take my grand-daughter down to use the equipment," he said.

"It was November last year that I noticed that orange safety mesh had been put up around all of the equipment except for the swings.

"I know that anything that's next to the sea is going to rust away, but to me it didn't look like it was in that bad a condition, especially not six months worth of repairs."

After months of inactivity, Mr Clay claims he was told by council staff that the repair work had been "forgotten".

"It just dragged on and on, it got to February and March and I got sick of it.

"It's public equipment that a lot of families use and nothing was being done."

Mr Clay said he emailed the council and was called by somebody from the parks department to say they had forgotten about the park and would get on to repairs.

"To me it's just not good enough though, we've had this rate rise, the SRV (Special Rate Variation), supposedly so council can fix things like this and there's signs going up around the area saying what it's paid for, but then it takes six months to fix some play equipment?

"It just seems to me that the council's focused on the City Hub and that's about it, and it [the hub] is just sucking up all the money."

A spokesperson from council said work on play equipment often requires specialist parts and that money is available for the upkeep of the city's play equipment.

"The replacement of playground equipment often requires the services of external contractors to supply and install specialist parts.

"In relation to equipment at Bardsley Park, council staff conducted minor works to reduce any risk of harm.

"The budget allocated is based on need and condition of existing playground equipment and is proposed to be $119,000 for the 2014-15 financial year."

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