Thank you for your feedback to help shape Skinners Adventure Playground

We asked how the users of Skinners Adventure Playground want to play and use the space into the future.

Your feedback will help to shape the new play area.

We have heard from children and families that visit Skinners and we will now develop a concept plan and check in again with you to make sure we’ve got it right before we build anything.

Image of original equipment at Skinners Adventure Playground

Original equipment at Skinners Adventure Playground

The consultation has now closed.

The playground site has been managed by Council since 1981 and the playground's operations have been fully funded by Council since 2014 when federal funding ceased.

Much of the play equipment at Skinners was built by volunteers and community groups, with the majority of materials being donated from hard rubbish, construction sites and community groups. In a changing risk environment, the playground equipment no longer meets relevant Australian standards or Council’s requirement to reduce risk in public places.

In November 2021, an independent OH&S consultant comprehensively audited the compliance and associated risk related to the play equipment and operational procedures at the site. Council’s Building Maintenance contractor presented officers with a separate report, focused on the structural integrity of the equipment, workmanship and recommendations for remediation and/or removal. These reports indicated that the condition of the playground equipment at the Moray Street end of the playground presented unacceptable risks to users. A decision was made to close access to this area and in May 2022 this equipment was removed.

Council has committed to a complete upgrade of the site in the 10-year financial plan. To ensure the continuation of play services at the site and to increase the safety and compliance of equipment, Council has agreed to undertake ‘Stage 1’ works while a long-term Adventure Playground strategy is undertaken. The Stage 1 works are aimed at ensuring that the site is usable in the short-term, and wherever possible, works implemented as part of Stage 1 can be re-used and/or incorporated into the complete site upgrade.

The area under consideration is the Stage 1 Works Area – Moray Street end of Skinners where play equipment has been removed.

Earlier this year Council consulted with the community on the trialing of extended opening hours at both Skinners and St Kilda Adventure Playgrounds.

  • Have Your Say submissions were invited from 17 January to 13 February 2022
  • Onsite fieldwork research was undertaken for two-weeks from 18 to 30 January 2022

Key findings from the 40 Submissions received include:

  • The Adventure playgrounds are much loved and highly valued pieces of community infrastructure.
  • Improved physical access (e.g., wheelchair access) identified by some respondents as a need and the deteriorating amenity was also noted by several respondents.
  • Support for staffed programs as they provide respite and free child supervision. Support for staffed programs for supervised risky play and mitigation of risk from antisocial behaviours.
  • Benefits noted included increased access, flexibility to accommodate use by different age groups and the provision of a different play experience to standard playgrounds.

Key findings from the 160 intercept surveys and 2 weeks of observation data collected during the onsite fieldwork include:

  • The play equipment being different to other playgrounds and the trampoline were strong reasons for visiting.
  • Most visitors felt either “very safe” or “safe” when visiting and there was no significant difference in perceptions of safety when comparing data collected when staff were or weren’t present.
  • 41% of visitors indicated they preferred to visit the playground when staff were there, 32% said that they preferred to come when it is quiet, while 26% indicated that they had no preference and would come to the playground at any time.
  • The majority of adults surveyed (44%) indicated that this was their first time visiting.
  • Support for the extended opening hours was “strongly supported” or “supported” by the majority of respondents.
  • The trial resulted in greater site use, including from many first-time users. It also highlighted the need for site improvements for safety and accessibility (particularly at Skinners).

The link to the Council report provides additional information on the findings from the trial of extended opening hours of adventure playgrounds