Issues Raised On Reopening Graceville Playgrounds Without Adequate Cleaning, Fall Measures

Several playgrounds across Tennyson ward, including four in Graceville, have reportedly reopened after the city’s major flood events without adequate cleaning and without a soft fall surface in place.

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Soft fall is an impact-absorbing layer that is laid beneath the finished surface of an indoor/outdoor area and can be in the form of rubber, synthetic grass, shock absorbing pads and even wood chips.

Around 12 playgrounds closed in Tennyson Ward after flood waters inundated the locality’s low-lying areas. In Graceville, these are Faulkner Park, Giraween Park, John Walker Park and Fehlberg St Park. Other playgrounds which were affected by flood include Robinson St Park and Norm Rose Park in Fairfield.

Faulkner Park
Photo credit: Daniel Hunter/Google Maps

During a Council meeting in June 2022, Councillor for Tennyson Ward Nicole Johnston complained over playgrounds reopening with those issues.

Cr Johnston claimed Brisbane City Council reopened them without de-compacting and removing the sewage-contaminated base and soft fall under the play equipment.

reopening playgrounds
Photo credit: Cr Nicole Johnston/Facebook

The Councillor highlighted that these playgrounds, along with some others in the locality, could still be contaminated by floodwater.

Meanwhile, Council assured that they are completing assessments of all city assets, following the flood in February 2022. Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner revealed that the major flood event affected over 300 playgrounds across the city. 

Cr Schrinner said they are also working as quickly as they can to get the soft fall replaced. 

He said officers inspected to determine whether soft fall loss, debris or the presence of other materials, such as mud, warranted the closure of the playground until rectification works were complete, after the playgrounds were inundated by flood.

The Lord Mayor asserted that they will not open a playground that they thought would be a safety risk.