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Variety Livvi’s Playspace – Albert Park Cootamundra

PLAY WORKSHOP AWARDED CONTRACT FOR ALBERT PARK – 16 Sept 2021

Playground specialist company Play Workshop has been the successful tenderer for the inclusive playground to be constructed in Cootamundra’s Albert Park. The company boosts over 30 years combined experience from their team in designing and implementing playground projects and have untaken projects for many local councils and other organisations across NSW and Australia.

One project Play Workshop undertook recently was the construction of a playground area at the Forbes Aquatic Centre – Lake Forbes. This project included several custom ironbark pieces, made in-house, including a tepee, a large log balancing structure and a combination rope agility structure, drilled and constructed in situ. The playground is considerate to the natural landscape and provides a great area for all to enjoy. 

Play Workshop expects ground works to commence in November 2021, when all equipment and materials required have been sourced and preliminary works being undertaken by Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) are completed.

CGRC and contractors have commenced work in Albert Park in preparation for the Livvis Place, inclusive playground with the erection of fencing, construction of earth mounds and surveying of the site. Local contractors are being used where possible. The fenced off area will now include seven entry points, after concerns were raised on the single-entry point included in the initial design.

The $400,000 project has been funded by the NSW Government Everyone Can Play Grant Program CGRC and CGRC and will see a playspace that is enriching and inspiring for all people of all abilities. The area will assist with providing a creative, imaginative space that will promote healthy activities, connectivity and be inclusive.

The design for the area, will have a theme, embracing “The Magic in the Trees”, and will utilise custom built timber play equipment which will include a bespoke accessible tree fort. Sand and water play features, sculpture, a nature play zone which includes brush tent frame and furniture including picnic seating, electric barbeque, and shelters will be discovered as an all-access pathway meander through the area. Landscaping will comprise of sensory plantings to stimulate the senses beyond the visual appeal.

CGRC mayor Cr Abb McAlister said he was pleased the contract had been awarded to Play Workshop and congratulated the company on their successful tender.

“It was great to see the calibre of companies that tendered to for the project, it’s a special one for our community, and will ultimately see a public space being utilised by those who have been denied the enjoyment of creative recreation by traditional play areas,” Cr McAlister added.

Picture and caption:

Artists impression of accessible tree fort to be constructed in Cootamundra’s Albert Park as part of the Livvi’s Place project.

ALBERT PARK TO BECOME A PLACE FOR ALL TO SHARE

Contractors have commenced work on the exciting new space in Cootamundra’s iconic Albert Park. Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) in partnership with Variety, the children’s charity secured funds to build a Variety Livvi’s Place.

A Livvi’s Place provides a unique environment for children of all ages and all abilities to play side by side. Extensive research and community consultation have gone into the development of these Playspaces to make them truly world class facilities.

Key characteristics of the Livvi’s Place is equal access for all abilities, which include soft fall rubber matting, visual and audio stimulation and are configured to maximise creative, physical, social, and cognitive play. The totally fenced area provides safety and security for all ages to enjoy the space giving parents and carers piece of mind, their children can explore and discover the sensory adventures developed within the space.

The large established trees within the park will make up part of the design and offer shade spaces, landscaping will be enhanced to encourage sensory and visual experiences. These features will offer a heightened experience for all people of all abilities and inspire tactile exploration.

The natural bushland theme will include natural seating with rocks and logs, pathways will meander through the space, with picnic tables and a barbeque included. A Yarning Circle will encourage cultural awareness and has been incorporated with the participation from the Cootamundra Aboriginal Working Party.

The area where the existing equipment including the picnic tables and barbeque will be reinstated as a grassed area and some equipment re-installed in the Livvi’s Place space.

Albert Park was chosen as the ideal site for a Livvi’s Place due to its proximity to Cootamundra’s CBD, existing access to footpaths, has a disabled toilet and parking areas that suit the unloading and loading of mobility equipment. The location is close to the Visitor Information Centre, Railway Station and is highly visible to visitors passing through Cootamundra.

Extensive consultation was undertaken in September 2020, the community had the opportunity to attend workshops, take part in an online survey and meet with representatives from Variety. Local schools, disability support services and the Council’s Access and Inclusion Committee were all stakeholders and contributed to the consultation process.

CGRC mayor Cr Abb McAlister said the development of a Livvi’s Place in Cootamundra will be a space that will allow freedom of movement without restriction and will offer different activities.

“Albert Park is an open public space; this facility will serve the needs of all members of our community especially those who don’t have the opportunity to play and explore in other playgrounds. It’s a need that currently doesn’t exist in our shire.

This very special place will accomplish some of the goals we committed to achieve in our Disability Inclusion Plan, develop a positive community attitude towards people with a disability and create a more liveable community for people with a disability,” Cr McAlister said.

Livvi’s Place in Albert Park Cootamundra will join an elite group of communities who offer a unique park space that has been carefully crafted as an inclusive playspace for everyone to enjoy. Expected completion is March 2022.

Detailed maps of the masterplan can be found on the by clicking on the links below:

210319 Albert Park Sections L-500 Draft

210518 Albert Park L-001 Masterplan (A1)

210319 Albert Park Masterplan L-001 Draft

-END- (2/9/2021)

Albert Park to become inclusive.

Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC), in partnership with Variety – the Children’s Charity, is creating an inclusive playspace at Cootamundra’s Albert Park.

Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council have formalised a partnership that will see the construction of a world class inclusive playspace in the park. This inclusive playspace will be designed to meet best practice principles regarding inclusive play and plan for associated infrastructure such as path connections and accessible toilets. Through clever design and engineering, the new facility will give people of all abilities a fun and challenging place to play side-by-side.

CGRC mayor Cr Abb McAlister said the playspace will be a unique place where people of all ages and abilities will be able to play together.

“It will become a key community hub, and form part of a national network of inclusive play spaces that Variety has helped create,” Cr McAlister said.

The area which will be known as Variety Livvi’s Place, Albert Park and will give children and families of all abilities a place to play and provide the community with a space to gather and connect. The playspace will have a positive impact on the lives of children and their families within our region, as well as the wider extended community. The playspace will also meet council’s vision in their Disability and Inclusion Plan and wider strategic plan objectives, with aspirations to create an inclusive, diverse, healthy and socially connected community.

Local residents will be asked to get involved in shaping the design of the playspace. Residents are invited to come along to a fun afternoon on Wednesday 23 September 2020 at 7pm and Thursday 24 September 2020 at 9.30am to talk to key stakeholders about what is needed to make this new facility fun, accessible and inclusive for the community.

You can have your say and help us create a magnificent space by completing the survey following this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VarietyLivvisPlayspaceAlbertPark

Variety has successfully partnered with other local governments to deliver similar playspaces in Bankstown and Taree. These facilities are thriving family destinations where all children are welcome and included. Variety will also support the development of a fundraising initiative for the project, working with local businesses and individuals to financially support the inclusive playspace in reaching its full potential.

Variety joined forces with the Touched by Olivia Foundation in 2018 to continue working with communities all across Australia to build inclusive playspaces known as ‘’Variety Livvi’s Place”. Working with these partners to deliver the project provides an opportunity to create a truly inclusive playspace in the heart of Cootamundra that will engage all children and their families and carers in the act of play.

“At Variety we believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to play. Variety Livvi’s Place Albert Park will be a world class inclusive playspace where everyone is included, valued and feels they belong.” said Variety – the Children’s Charity Inclusive Play Manager, Kim Becherand.

“All kids should be able to experience the joy and benefits of playing together, and Variety is proud to partner with forward thinking councils like Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council on this very important project for the Cootamundra community.” Ms Becherand added.

Variety Livvi’s Place Cootamundra Facebook group

191105_Cootamundra_L01_Albert park Concept plan

210319 Albert Park Masterplan L-001 Draft

210319 Albert Park Sections L-500 Draft