Safety inspections not just child?s play

By DARRYN NUFER

DAILY safety inspections of Rockhampton playgrounds ? is it a case of a litigious soci- ety gone mad?

Councillor John Broad be- lieves so, yesterday labelling it an "over the top'' bid to pre- vent what used to be just part and parcel of learning a sense of consequence.

"Part of growing up for ev- erybody should be the odd spill,'' he said.

The issue of public liability paranoia surfaced again after Rockhampton City Council was forced to increase risk management by revamping playground inspections.

Each of the city's 40-odd playgrounds now requires in- spections every two weeks. At least five grounds need to be sighted by an inspector every day.

"They (playgrounds) have been around for about 200 years and they're now regard- ed as being too dangerous, it's very crazy stuff,'' Cr Broad said.

"When I was a kid if you fell from playground equip- ment you could fall eight or 10 feet. Now (because of Aus- tralian safety standards) you would be lucky to fall two feet.''

Giant steel slippery slides, tall jungle bars and large wooden seesaws and old tyres have given way to low-level, rounded plastic castles and houses with connecting tun- nels, smaller slides and as- sorted attachments.

"Yet our experts have told us we have to do these things and there's no escaping that,'' Cr Broad said.

Council sport co-ordinator Nick Hauser said the re- vamped inspection process would come at no extra cost to ratepayers.



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