Bailey with his split lip.
Bailey with his split lip. Contributed

Council rejects comments about bad Keppel Kracken design

THE design team behind Keppel Kraken have rejected recent comments suggesting the design does not meet the needs of young children.

Instead, Vee Designs and Livingstone council have turned to examples in other Queensland centres which feature a rubber protecting layer over the concrete blocks.

It comes after the community this week responded overwhelmingly to reports an eight-year-old boy severely injured his face when he fell at Keppel Kraken on the weekend.

Vee Designs director David Hatherly said the play area was carefully designed to cater for intergenerational play experiences and allows carers to participate side by side with their children.

"One of the key features of the park was the subtle integration of seating opportunities so parents and carers can actually sit safely and in close proximity to their kids," Mr Hatherly said.

"All of the hexagonal blocks have been sandblasted on the top surface to maximise grip and actually exceed the Australian Standards for slip resistance."

Mr Hatherly said while there were always risks in any highly-challenging playground facility, the design team were constantly looking for ways to integrate more stimulating features while maintaining a high level of safety.

"Queensland's greatest parks - and Brisbane's Southbank is a prime example - are monitored and reviewed regularly, meaning they are constantly evolving to ensure it remains relevant and safe for the community. And the Keppel Kraken is no exception," he said.

Mayor Bill Ludwig said council's project management team recommended safety and shade improvement works take place in mid-May after the peak tourist period as the combined works will require the Kraken to close for up to a week.

"Council's project management team has allocated almost $22,000 towards improved safety mitigation measures, which will see rubberisation installed along the cascade feature, which has proved one of the most popular elements with younger children," Mr Ludwig said.

"We've put the money in the budget and we've set aside $100,000 for the shade structures and the rubber.

"It was always going to be a case of monitoring the performance of the Keppel Kraken to identify any areas where improvements could be made."



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