All-Abilities park progressing

By Robert Muir

The All-Abilities Adventure Playground committee met on site with the successful tenderer for the project Enviro Culture Services last Wednesday for an update of the project.

Committee members liked what they heard from Enviro Culture Services personnel who explained all the physical groundworks undertaken to date at Purtle Park Mulwala.

The water playground feature base, undercover barbecue area overlooking Lake Mulwala and footpaths have been constructed.

“At this stage the project is tracking very well,” Director Enviro Culture Services told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“You can get hold-ups with weather but our main concern will be COVID-19. A lot of the items are manufactured overseas in various places – four countries in fact – and get shipped to Australia.

“It’s a bit of an unknown at this stage but we’re certainly hoping all will be well but until the delivery date is confirmed we can’t say definitely as to project completion.”

The family friendly park will contain a free-standing all-abilities play system, that will quite literally ‘reach to the skies’, with children able to move between sky cabins, along swaying paths five metres above the ground. The project will also deliver a new toilet block and parking under separate funding. 

The design includes a nod to the Yarrawonga Mulwala Traffic Bridge, with the theme including a dip and suspension bridge.

The larger play elements are designed to encourage risk taking and problem solving for older children, along with natural park elements of logs and rocks to promote balance.   Toddler play areas, a fenced play area, water and vertical play areas, a basket swing, the pelican nest and hideaway frames and flying fox are other well-thought out ideas and features. 

Mr Robert Purtle OAM is delighted to see the much-talked about project underway. “I’m rapt with the progress of the place,” the Mulwala Progress Association President said.

“And the outcome, with Federation Council saying they will find the balance of the funding required to complete the project all in the one go, will be very much looked forward to.

“The support from Federation Council for this project will be a big winner for locals and visitors.”

Council’s resolution unanimously agreed to by all nine councillors for the financial commitment is via currently obtained public and grant funds and reviewing the approximate shortfall of $800,000 via internal revenue sources, borrowing or other avenues such as grants.

Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke said council was proud to award the tender for the Mulwala All Abilities Playground project and commit further funding to the project to ensure a state of the art playground will be created.   

Cr Bronwyn Thomas had expressed her wish to have the whole project completed as soon as possible, especially as the public has contributed a substantial amount of money, $350,650 towards the project.

“It is an exciting project that will have a huge net benefit not only to the local communities but to the wider population that will travel to experience the ‘whole’, not the ‘part’,” she said.

Ms Kaitlyn Cummins, who was instrumental in getting the project off the ground, expressed her gladness at the physical work being evident.

“It’s just exciting to see the progress and looking forward to September,” she said. Completion of the infrastructure project is expected to be Spring 2020 – subject to timely arrival of overseas manufactured items.

Construction of the new toilet block at Purtle Park is being undertaken by Kennedy Builders Mulwala and is nearing completion. 

“About three weeks away,” foreman Jamie Stewart predicted last Wednesday. “It’s a modern, well-designed building.”