Cataract Gorge playground concept out for consultation
Published on 22 December 2017
The City of Launceston is calling for public feedback on a proposal to redevelop the Cataract Gorge playground into a more accessible and contemporary natural playspace, which can better withstand flood events.
The work is being undertaken as part of the Reimagining the Cataract Gorge Project, which the Council developed in consultation with the Northern Tasmanian community throughout 2014 and 2015, and is designed to guide development at the Cataract Gorge until 2030.
The proposed $650,000 upgrade would see the existing play area directly in front of the cafe and public amenities transformed into a vibrant new nature-based play zone, featuring an outdoor amphitheatre, a water play zone, native plantings, boulders, tree trunks, a sand pit, an accessible swing set, sensory garden, a stone seeded creek bed, and a mouse-wheel treadmill.
Importantly, the new play area would be built to the same level as the existing public amenities, meaning access to the site will be easier for parents, grandparents and people with disabilities.
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said that while the project ostensibly involved a playspace upgrade, it's objectives were much broader.
"As well as a new play area, this proposal will see a real transformation of the area below the cafe into a more natural site, with boulders, native plantings, running water, and tree trunks," Mayor van Zetten said.
"The existing playspace at the Cataract Gorge is well overdue for replacement, having been in place for a number of years, and having withstood a number of flood events in recent memory — four in the space of a single year in 2016.
"One of the clear objectives of the Reimagining the Gorge project is to replace run down and tired infrastructure, because it detracts from the overall visitor experience.
"This project will give us the opportunity to construct something more attractive, more accessible, more in keeping with the Cataract Gorge's natural assets, and more suited to withstanding the regular inundation of the lawn area.
"The design offers a number of benefits; by having access to the public amenities and the playspace all on the one level, we're able to provide better access for our vehicles which need to access infrastructure in the Gorge during floods.
"We think the design is an exciting one and we'll be interested to see people's feedback through the consultation process, ahead of a DA being advertised next year."
People can view the proposal for the playspace redevelopment and take part in a short online survey at www.yourvoiceyourlaunceston.com.au, with comment closing on Thursday, January 25, 2018.