NSW playgrounds will need to meet new design standards that cater for people with all abilities. The NSW Government is developing new guidelines for councils and developers to provide facilities for children with challenges, parents with disability and carers.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the NSW Government wanted to ensure everyone was able to enjoy these spaces safely and inclusively and would provide an injection of funding for councils to retro-fit all existing parks within five years.

“I want all playgrounds in NSW to be reviewed as part of an in-depth audit that will see them assessed and rated against universal design principles,” he said. “There are more than 1.3 million people in NSW who live with a disability or added needs. It is imperative that our open spaces and playgrounds in parklands are able to be enjoyed by every citizen regardless of their level of ability.” The minister said this can be achieved by having wheel-on carousels for children using wheelchairs, shaded seating areas for parents with disability and ramp access for elderly people using motorised scooters.

A retrospective review of the existing playgrounds across NSW will determine what work needs to be done to ensure people of all abilities have the same level of accessibility to play and will identify opportunities for improvements to play spaces.

New guidelines for the universally designed play spaces will be finalised in 2018.