State Government and Coffs City Council combine to fund upgrade to Graff Ave park at Toormina

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, Mayor Denise Knight and local Elder Aunty Kerrie Burnet at the Graff Avenue Park announcement on Monday. Photo: David Tune.

 

GUMBAYNGGIRR Elder Aunty Kerrie Burnet on Monday welcomed the announcement of $75,000 from the NSW Government and Coffs Harbour City Council to upgrade the facilities at the Graff Avenue park and playground.

The park currently has a limited playground, basketball court, cricket pitch and a small shelter, where Auntie Kerrie provides a safe play space for up to 68 local children weekly to join in her informal playgroup each afternoon and evening.

The playgroup has its own set of rules for behaviour which is often reinforced by the kids themselves.

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Aunty Kerrie said, “These kids love to create their own games and just enjoy life, and this park gives them a safe space to let their imaginations run wild and have fun in.

“They’ve already started coming up with lists of things they would like to have at the park, and at the top of the list is a handball court.”

Other community support groups such as Blue Sky and Get Connected Toormina, as well as sporting groups regularly engage with local residents through activities at the park.

Proposed improvements to the space include upgraded play equipment, a bush tucker garden, shade structures, paths, seating and a larger shelter.

Coffs Coast is set to receive $375,000 from the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play program to provide new play spaces for our communities.

The Sandy Beach Youth Space is welcoming a total grant of $300,000 that should provide a small skate plaza, a half basketball court, seating, shelter, connecting footpaths and shade tree planting.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said play spaces are a key community asset bringing people together in a fun and welcoming environment.

“Great public spaces are essential infrastructure for any city or town, particularly in communities that have experienced recent hardship and heartache,” Mr Singh said.

“Creating inclusive play spaces gives people in our community, no matter their age or ability, a place to relax and play.”

A statewide list of funding recipients and more information is at: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/everyonecanPlay.

 

By David TUNE

 

Aunty Kerrie and some of the team of supporters who assist local people associated with the Graff Avenue Park. Photo: David Tune.

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