The NSW government has brought together members of local government, education institutions, not-for-profit organisations and state government agencies in order to provide guidance ideas in developing draft guidelines for playground design.

The formation of the advocacy group is the first step in developing draft state-wide guidelines for the development of more inclusive playspaces.

Announced by NSW minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, playgrounds and playspaces across NSW will need to meet a new standard of design by catering for all people, including disabled and able-bodied children and their carers.

The NSW commissioner of Open Space and Parklands, Fiona Morrison, welcomed the advocacy group, saying that it will have the power to change the way we think about the design and management of playspaces.

“The development of draft guidelines for playspaces will position NSW as the leading state in Australia for playspaces where any child, parent or carer can play easily and effortlessly,” says Morrison.

“I am thrilled to have such a group of experts to help lead the charge and advocate for change of our playspaces.

As part of the new standards, the NSW government will also inject funding for councils to retro-fit all existing parks within five years.

An initial advisory group comprising local government, landscape architects, designers, suppliers and professional bodies will also be formed in early 2018 to help with the engagement of key industry stakeholders and community groups to assist with the drafting process.

“It is my hope that any person of any age can go to a playspace near their home without the difficulty of accessibility and all children can play together, irrespective of their level of ability,” says Morrison.