Liberals pick Blaxland site for new inclusive playground

A re-elected Liberal government will spend $500,000 on a new inclusive playground at Blaxland Oval.

The funding will go to purchase and install all abilities play equipment, as well as soft fall, edging and shading.

It follows an announcement earlier in the campaign for $1 million in funding for a similar project by Labor.

Fully inclusive at Blaxland: Liberal candidate for Macquarie Sarah Richards (right) was joined by Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne and Blue Mountains Ward 4 councillor Brendan Christie to announce the investment.

Fully inclusive at Blaxland: Liberal candidate for Macquarie Sarah Richards (right) was joined by Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne and Blue Mountains Ward 4 councillor Brendan Christie to announce the investment.

"Blaxland Oval was a practical choice being close to local shops and it also currently services the local community for basketball, soccer, and cricket, and is in close proximity to Riding for the Disabled," said Liberal candidate for Macquarie, Sarah Richards.

"I've got three kids and understand how important playtime is for not just their enjoyment, but also for helping develop important social and physical skills. That's why an inclusive playground has such an important role."

But Labor Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman called the promise "a little cynical ... one week out from the election when there has been no consultation with the community or council".

"My community-led campaign for a fully inclusive playground received overwhelming support across the Mountains, and in April I was delighted to announce Labor will provide $1 million for a fully inclusive playground.

"Unlike the Liberals, I won't be predetermining what the community wants and needs. Ours is a $1 million commitment ... we will listen to the community and council to not only determine the best location, but what is needed for families of children with all abilities."

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Liberal Senator Marise Payne said: "We understands how important facilities such as an inclusive playground are for the community," Senator Payne said.

"All children deserve the opportunity to play, learn and grow and gain valuable and enjoyable experiences in their developmental growth."

Ward 4 Councillor Brendan Christie welcomed the investment:. "This inclusive playground will be a welcome addition to an area already being used by The Blaxland Redbacks Football Club.

"Being so close to Blaxland High and the local shops, St Johns Oval is the ideal choice for an inclusive playground in the Lower Mountains. I can't thank Sarah Richards and Senator Marise Payne enough for making this a reality. The outcry from residents has been loud and clear and the Morrison Government is listening."

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said while he welcomed the funding he was concerned council had again not been consulted.

"All offers of funding are of course welcome but this is the second announcement from the Liberal candidate in two weeks that involves a council facility but no discussion with myself or council

"Susan Templeman has committed $1 million for an inclusive playground and is consulting with the community and council closely."