Opening the new Balzer Park playground in Dunoon are Lismore MP Thomas George and Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith (centre) with (l-r) North East Community Panel members Bronwen Campbell, Denis Matthews, Ross McDougall and Trevor Tuckey, Councillor Darlene Cook and Council's Community Engagement and Partnering Officer Catherine Rosenbaum.
Opening the new Balzer Park playground in Dunoon are Lismore MP Thomas George and Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith (centre) with (l-r) North East Community Panel members Bronwen Campbell, Denis Matthews, Ross McDougall and Trevor Tuckey, Councillor Darlene Cook and Council's Community Engagement and Partnering Officer Catherine Rosenbaum.

New playground opens just in time for school holidays

A NEW playground at Balzer Park in Dunoon was opened this week by Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith and Lismore MP Thomas George.

The facility has been in the making since 2015, when the North East Community Panel facilitated by Lismore City Council identified a lack of playground equipment at Balzer and Tamarind parks to cater for locals and visitors.

Instead of simply waiting for something to happen, the North East Community Panel came up with an ingenious solution that they put to the council: sell a pocket park in Cedar Drive, Dunoon, to fund the installation of a new playground at Balzer Park.

The council's Community Engagement and Partnering Officer, Catherine Rosenbaum, said it was a great way to achieve community goals.

"Council has formed a collaborative and productive partnership with the community throughout this process, consulting with those affected, identifying a suitable location and choosing suitable equipment to install," she said.

The community effort did not stop there.

On top of profits from the sale of the pocket park in excess of $100,000, a further contribution of $15,000 was secured through the NSW Government's Community Building Partnership Grant by the Dunoon & District Sports Club.

While not everything on the wish list could be achieved, panel members have already volunteered their time and skills to complete pathways and landscaping works.

"While the community consultation played a big role in the final choice of equipment, some compromises had to be made due to price and ongoing maintenance," Ms Rosenbaum said.

"This is still a big win for the community and proves what can be achieved by everyone working together."



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