Playgrounds to receive overhaul

THE Launceston City Council will conduct a multimillion-dollar overhaul of the city's play areas to bring them up to contemporary standards.

The program, endorsed unanimously by Launceston aldermen yesterday, will cost at least $3.56 million to implement, with an additional $2 million to be spent on a new playground at North Bank.

Eighteen of the city's 65 playgrounds will cost up to $100,000 to upgrade.

The upgrades stem from the council's new playspace strategy, which has recommended the council update its play areas so they encourage social inclusion and risk-taking, and to incorporate natural aspects.

Deputy Mayor Jeremy Ball said the council was wise to invest in a playground works program as they could attract families to live in Launceston.

He said financial commitments over playgrounds would be decided by the council annually at budget time.

Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said a revamped North Bank would feature the city's biggest playground, expected to cost $2thmillion to build.

He said the facility would ``brand Launceston'', create a memorable experience, and draw families into the city.

The council spends $69,000 a year on play equipment maintenance and has budgeted $490,000 this financial year for equipment replacement.

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