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Stop closure of playground on Salter Field, Parramatta Park

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Parramatta Park Trust: PLEASE STOP closure of the playground on Salter Field in Parramatta Park near the Jessie Street entry. It is much loved and much used and a vital part of our community.

Closure of this playground will mean there is nowhere for young children to play and exercise within Parramatta Park. The new playground is great but caters for older children, there are no traditional swings or slides, no see-saws, monkey bars or flying fox. There is nothing for under 6's to play on in the new playground, nowhere for them to exercise. My children get bored in the new playground as they only have sandpits to play in. The new round swings are too frightening for them and require an adult to sit with them for them to feel safe enough to play. The slide doesn't have a proper set of steps meaning little kids can't climb them to slide. I'm sure all the younger kids who frequent the park feel the same. How will this generation of kids learn to swing and slide without the playground on Salter Field?

The playground also acts as a meeting point for new arrivals in Westmead where they can go and know they will meet people of the same background and from similar situations. They meet other parents and grandparents who are here looking after their kids and they settle in quickly and don't feel alone in this new country.

There are so many families that have based their decisions on moving to or staying in Westmead because of this playground and the great opportunity it offers to extended family to meet people and feel like they are a part of the local community. Hundreds of kids have grown up on the playground and hundreds more will do the same forging friendships that will last beyond the park and even school. Hundreds of adults have made long lasting friendships thanks to the fact that they have brought their kids/grand kids to play at the playground because that is what everyone in Westmead does, because the playground is so conducive to sitting and chatting while watching the kids play.

We were all surveyed by Parramatta Park Trust employees about new play areas we would like to see and we all participated enthusiastically believing we would have a new and exciting addition to the park that would make the park even more attractive to everyone. If we had known then that it would mean the loss of the beloved playground on Salter Field we would have petitioned for an upgrade rather than a new playground and our participation would have been much less enthusiastic. I'm sure it would cost less to maintain this playground than it would to maintain the new playground and I'm sure Parramatta Park Trust can find the funds to keep such a vital part of the Westmead community open. 

We believed the new playground was a good addition to the park so that the older children could have equipment just for them that allowed them to run around without worrying about little kids getting in the way. We were so happy that the old playground was now solely available for the younger kids to play and exercise as they please without worrying about older kids pushing them over as they ran around. We believe the money spent on the new playground would have been better spent on an upgrade and additions to the existing playground rather than providing us with a poor replacement.

We have to stop the closure of the playground to ensure all the kids still to come have somewhere exciting and safe to play. To ensure our parents and children have somewhere to go during the day and to ensure the community of Westmead is not torn apart by the fact that they have nowhere to meet and enjoy the park. If people stop coming to the park it will not be safe - the more people in the park during the day the safer it is for our kids to play undisturbed. 

I have lived in Westmead for over 12 years and this playground has been a lifeline for so many families and children. I have watched my nephews, nieces, friends' children and total strangers' kids grow up on this playground. I have watched grandparents meet other grandparents and build long lasting friendships that continue even when they go back home. To take it away from the community will be devastating. It will be another blow to a community still dealing with the shocking murder that occurred recently. 

Please support this petition to stop the closure of the playground. Please get everyone you know involved and help keep this important part of Parramatta Park open for everyone.



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