Mums want fences -- push for safety upgrade

A GROUP of young mums in Murwillumbah is hoping candidates in Saturday's Tweed Shire Council election will remember them and their children -- and the need for fencing around a children's playground in the heart of town.

They say while Tweed Heads and Kingscliff both have fenced playgrounds for young children, the one in Murwillumbah's Knox Park remains unfenced despite nearby streets and a potentially deadly duck pond.

Some young mothers avoid the playground fearful that a moment's distraction could lead to tragedy while a popular playgroup also stays away.

"We actually don't go there as a group because there is no fence there," said co-ordinator of St Andrew's Murwillumbah Presbyterian Church playgroup Debbie Menin.

"The church yard we are in is fenced and they can't run out on the road."

Mrs Menin said "one young fellow" in the group was notorious for needing to be "kept on a leash" and a good example of why mothers avoided the Knox Park playground.

"Part of the joy of going to the park is you get to speak to someone there," she said.

"If you are doing that you often take your eyes off them for a moment ... but there is water nearby. It is a park that needs to be fenced.

"It is a good place to visit if you don't have a child that takes off on you.

"It's not used as much as it could be because of the lack of fencing."

Mrs Menin said the church playgroup which meets every Tuesday from 9.30am till 11.30 am had been going for nearly five years and had been great for her son, now eight and for her daughter, 3, but park outings would be nice.

A fence was always on parents minds, she said.

"It's always been a thing people talk about. Knox Park could be better."

Another mother who asked the Tweed Daily News to investigate the issue said a safety fence around the playground would allow people to care for more than one child such as a toddler and a baby "while at the park without having to worry that a moment's distraction would result in a tragedy in the pond or on the nearby major road".

"Also less mobile people like my Mum could confidently mind a youngster, while others in the family shopped locally."

She estimated the cost would be about $300 per metre for about 50 metres of fence, "which would be very useful to the community, not just parents but grandparents and carers and of course the children".



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