The construction of the Apex Park Inclusive Playspace has been completed in Gawler as the Federal and State Governments continue to partner with local governments across South Australia to support community infrastructure. 

The $190,000 project has delivered a more inclusive space for all ages and abilities – supported by $40,000 from the Federal Government under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program, $60,000 from the South Australian Government and $90,000 from the Town of Gawler Council.

Chosen by the community, the playspace design derives from the three Rivers that run through Gawler, reflecting upon the importance of water to the area, both past and present. 

The new accessible walkway represents Para River, connecting the existing two main entrances to four new inclusive play zones, which sit along the banks of the walkway like mini billabongs.

Each billabong targets several types of play, to help encourage a variety of play experiences for all ages and abilities.

The Town of Gawler has invited residents and visitors alike to celebrate the transformation of Apex Park and join in the excitement at seeing the inclusive playspace become a reality. 

Federal Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Kristy McBain, said that she started her career in local government because she wasn’t happy with a decision that was made about a playground in her own community.  

“Which is why I know that it’s incredibly important for all levels of government to invest in dynamic spaces that bring people together for recreation and events,” Minister McBain said. 

“It’s fantastic to see work complete on the new Apex Park, with this just one of many projects we’re partnering with the Town of Gawler Council on, as part of over $2.7 million in LRCI funding from the Federal Government.”

South Australian Assistant Minister for Autism, Emily Bourke, said that the State Government is leading the way in making South Australia the autism-inclusive state. 

“Partnering with local communities to invest in creating inclusive play spaces like Apex Park is just another way we will continue to build inclusive knowledge in our great state,” Assistant Minister Bourke said. 

Town of Gawler Mayor, Karen Redman, said that Council believes in building a community where everyone feels welcome and included, and this playspace is a tangible expression of that vision.

“Together, let’s continue building a Gawler that embraces diversity, fosters inclusion, and creates spaces where memories are made for generations to come,” MMayor Redman said. 

Town of Gawler Acting CEO, Andrew Goodsell, said that in line with Town of Gawler’s Draft Playspace Strategy, the project demonstrates Council’s commitment to creating engaging and accessible spaces for everyone to enjoy.

“As we celebrate the opening of this exciting venture, we are grateful for the collaborative efforts between Australian, state and local governments that have brought us to this moment.”

Image: Ebony Jayne Preece/shutterstock.com

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