Funding for a New Play Zone at Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison, today joined with Deputy Mayor Cr Amy Johnson to announce that City of Ballarat was successful in their grant application to develop a new sensory friendly play zone at Ballarat’s Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space.

The project will be funded with a grant of $186,900 from the Victorian Government’s Local Sports Infrastructure Fund and a contribution of $124,600 from The City of Ballarat.

After strong advocacy from the City of Ballarat’s Disability Advisory Committee, the Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space was opened in 2016 and around 140,000 people now visit it each year. It is a place where children and adults of all abilities can play, socialise, and connect.

The new Sensory Friendly Zone will be located within the Victoria Park Inclusive Play Space and will consist of play equipment and landscaping to complement and provide connections to the existing active play and recreation opportunities.

The zone will include shops for children to play in as well as a stage, two small 3D hills and a hill with a tunnel. A children’s table with seating and a fairy-tale throne with 10 nearby seats will also be constructed.

With accessible pathways throughout, the zone will include new park benches, and rubber soft fall, as well as 8 new artworks and a ‘Sheoak Forest’ with 20 large potted trees, 100 smaller trees and over 400 shrubs.

There will also be opportunities for nature play with rocks, stepping stones, and a texture and sensory garden.

Applications also are now open for the 2022 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund – backed by up to $30 million from the recent state budget.

The Local Sports Infrastructure Fund helps communities by supporting shovel-ready projects across five funding streams including Indoor Stadiums/Aquatic Facilities, Female Friendly Facilities, Community Sports Lighting, Community Facilities, and Planning.

The fund is part of a $1.2 billion investment made by the government in community sport and active recreation infrastructure since 2014.

The fund also helps generate economic activity and hundreds of jobs for planners, architects, engineers, project managers, buildings, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, maintenance staff, facility managers and operational personnel. Sourcing local materials will also enable many more Victorian businesses to thrive.

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“The Inclusive Play Space at Victoria Park is loved by local families and visitors of all ages and abilities. This investment will ensure that future generations will also be able to visit and enjoy this special place.” 

Quotes attributable to City of Ballarat Deputy Mayor, Cr Amy Johnson

“We’re looking forward to receiving this funding to allow us to build another new play space at Victoria Park.”

“The inclusive play space is so important to so many in our community, as it allows access for people of all ability. This new project will allow us to expand the space to include more sensory options.”

“I know a lot of people can’t wait to see how this new play space takes shape, it’ll be a great addition to the park”.

Quotes attributable to City of Ballarat Disability Advisory Committee Member Rebecca Paton

“Right from the start of this process, throughout the consultation and initial plans, we’d always hoped to have scope for an imaginary play space and sensory plantings. It’s exciting that this announcement means that original vision of the space will now be complete.”

“This really is the final piece of the puzzle and will provide a complete experience for those who have sensory needs.”

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