Friday, 10 November 2017
To guarantee our health and wealth, make SA the state of play
Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent calls on the State Government to invest in the future by making playgrounds and other public spaces accessible to all.
This week, the New South Wales Government announced a new statewide policy for inclusive play spaces, as well as a review of existing facilities.
“Spending time in our beautiful outdoors is part of the Australian lifestyle. At this time of year, many of us are planning outdoor events and activities, but at the moment, not everyone can participate.”
Ms Vincent has also highlighted the need for broader inclusivity in the design of parks and playgrounds.
“In 2016, the Dignity Party amended state planning law to incorporate universal design principles, meaning that the needs of mobility aid users, older people, parents with prams – everyone – must be considered from the beginning when designing public spaces.
The next step is action. To follow the New South Wales example is a golden opportunity for South Australia to go a step further, by putting widespread accessibility on the map,” said Ms Vincent.
To succeed, we need leadership from all levels of government, including councils. If, for example, the footpath that leads to an accessible playground is poorly maintained or too narrow, then for some people, that playground may as well be on the other side of the planet.”
Ms Vincent says inclusive play doesn’t only benefit children with disabilities.
“At a time when screens and indoor activity dominate our lives, governments need to dig deep to ease pressure on an already struggling health system. Lack of outdoor play has been linked to health problems like sight and bone deficiencies in young people. Ultimately, we must invest now or pay the price for years into the future.”
Ms Vincent is waiting for a response from Planning Minister John Rau, after making calls to his office this afternoon to discuss the next steps. She looks forward to making positive change for all South Australians in this vital area.
To read more about Kelly’s Universal Design work, and to watch a short video explaining Universal Design, click here: https://kellyvincentmlc.com/media-releases/universal-support-for-universal-design/