Brimbank City Council launched an innovative project that will see Brimbank’s firs inclusive playground built in the heart of St Albans, were people of all ages and abilities can gather and play.

Concept plans for the playground, to be built early 2013, were unveiled at a special launch celebration held onsite at Errington Reserve, Main Road East, St Albans. The plans will now be released for community feedbanck until 21 September 2012.

Once complete the partnership project between Council, the Touched by Olivia Foundation, Leighton Contractors, and supported by St Albans Connect and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia will deliver a playground that will be innovative in design and become a major community asset for St Albans, Brimbank, and the Entire Western Region of Melbourne. It will also be the first inclusive playground constructed in collaboration with TBO in Victoria.

Chair of Brimbank Administrators, Peter Lewinsky said Brimbank City Council was committed to creating better places for children and families to come together, play and socialise.

“Brimbank’s Creating Better Parks Policy and Plan has seen the transformation of about 60 playgrounds across our municipality since 2008. This particular playground, redevelopment is especially exciting because it will be the first fully inclusive playground located in Brimbank, as well as the first playground developed in our city as part of a collaborative partnership,” Mr Lewinsky said.

“The opportunity to partner with the Touched by Olivia Foundation to make Brimbank, and in particular St Albans, the home of the first TBO inclusive playground in Victoria was a fantastic opportunity for COuncil and the community. It also sits perfectly with Council’s vision for creating improved play spaces, creating connected, supported and welcoming communities and importantly our vision for the redevelopment of the Errington Precinct.”

Touched by Olivia Foundation Director, John Perkins, said TBO had chosen Brimbank as their site for the first Victorian Inclusive Playground in consultation with Play Australia and their national partners, Leighton Contractors.

“We saw St Albans as an ideal location for Touched by Olivia’s first Victoria inclusive playground with a high proportion of residents with disability,” Mr Perkins said. “We were also aware of Brimbank’s focus on revitalising their community with the provision of play and social opportunities and programming to support this.

“At the Touched by Olivia Foundation, our aim is to provide an inclusive playground in every community in Australia. The uniqueness of these playgrounds is that they cater for neurological impairment as well as physical impairment, able bodied users and adults in a public environment,” Mr Perkins said.

Managing Director of Leighton Contractors, Craig Laslett said; “We are committed to enhancing people’s lives and are very proud of our continued support of the Touched by Olivia Foundation and their important work in our local communities. The Errington Reserve Playground will be a first for Melbourne.

“After building the award winning ‘Livvi’s Place’, we’ve also pledged our support to create multiple playgrounds,” Craig said.

Commonwealth Bank Regional General Manager, Richard Porter said: “To help mark our Centenary, we asked our staff how they would like to give back to local communities. The Errington Reserve inclusive playground is one of ten deserving initiatives the Bank has chosen to become a reality and we are very proud to be a major sponsor of this ground breaking project. It will encourage children of all ages and abilities to play side by side, whilst also catering to the physical and emotional needs of all members of the community.”

The concepts plans for the park were developed by Council following initial community consultation led by St Albans Connect with key stakeholders in the community including Sunshine Special Development School, various support groups, St Albans Primary School and SCOPE.

Construction of the playground is expected to begin in November 2012.