Monday, July 6, 2009

Won't someone think of the children?

I can't stand that saying.  "Won't someone think of the children"?  It always seems to be promoted my some mushy-headed do-gooder intent on promoting fashionable policies that end up working against the best interests of parents, children and society.

I prefer a more hard-headed approach myself.

Here is a playground in Granville, well away from my usual stalking ground of Canada Bay. Having young children, I am now familiar with playgrounds of all shapes and sizes, and have watched my kids play in them from one end of the state to the other.  

This is not a bad looking playground, but it has a manky look and feel about it.  It has not been maintained particularly well - graffiti on the plastic surfaces has not been removed properly, and equipment that is probably only a few years old looks uninviting and filthy.  This is not a place where I would choose to bring my kids.  

Council has spent thousands of dollars on landscaping this area, installing soft-fall cushioning and updating the equipment to the latest play-safe level, but all that money is wasted if parents decide that they'd rather keep their kids at home than allowing them to play in a rubbish tip.

Canada Bay Council thankfully takes a much more vigorous approach to maintaining public playgrounds than this council.  Council staff regularly visit and check the major playgrounds around our area, and they're very receptive to taking reports of damage and doing something about it.  I have no hesitation in reporting anything that is out of place in a playground in our area, because I "think of the children". 

One thing that sends me completely spare though is when I am at a playground with the kids and I overhear another parent say something along the lines of, "Oh look, that swing is broken. Why hasn't the useless council fixed it?"  I always want to bail them up and say, "It's because no useless parent has reported it to the council.  Do you think they have a magic eyeball in the sky that can detect these things from afar?"

One thing both councils share though is no lack of idiots that like to hang out in kid's playgrounds at night and bugger them up for everyone else.

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