Longford residents concerned about the safety of children using the newly finished Village Green playground have taken to an online petition to call for fencing to be installed.
The petition, signed by more than 215 people as of Monday, comes after a November vote by the Northern Midlands council against fencing the site.
The third and final stage of the long-running project, which now features an inclusive carousel and swing, was finalised last month. Preliminary concepts were released in early 2016.
Chloee Harper, a Longford parent of three, started the petition after conversations with friends and other community members showed her she wasn't alone in thinking it "necessary".
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"Sometimes it's not just enough to watch our children," Ms Harper said. "Given its a small rural town as well we get a lot of log trucks and buses. It's quite a busy road at any time of the year."
"It's our children that will be attending the park and it's our children whose safety will be at risk."
A report prepared by the council's project and engineering managers ahead of the November meeting acknowledged the issue of fencing had been raised, but recommended against it after a risk management consultant deemed there was no need.
Deputy mayor Richard Goss and councillor Matthew Brooks voted against the final motion in November that the playground remain free from fencing.
A quote sought by the council estimated 130 metres of 1.5 metre high fencing would be required, complete with two gates, at a cost of $32,000.
"Some hold the opinion that the unfenced playground poses a risk of children running out onto adjacent streets," the report stated.
"Others hold the opinion that fenced playgrounds pose a risk as parents do not feel the need to watch their children playing, and the children can be injured within the fenced area."
But in signing the petition, many suggested even while watching they did not feel entirely safe.
"Accidents can happen in a split second, and the park is right on a busy road," wrote one. "Surely it is much better to be safe, than sorry."
Another parent referenced an incident where their two children ran off at the same time, in different directions. "If you have more than one child a bit of extra safety goes a long way," they suggested.
A number of grandparents also wrote of their concerns.
"When I take them to this playground I am in fear of them running onto the road, and I am not as fast as their mother is," noted one.
Northern Midlands council mayor Mary Knowles said: "The playground is set back from the road edge with several natural and built barriers, albeit not a fence, to encourage children to remain within the playground area under adult supervision."
"It is not standard practise for Council to fence playgrounds, although I know State Growth fenced the Avoca playground for that community because their new highway sliced off part of the park and brought the playground closer to the traffic."
Cr Knowles said that if "other facts had come to light" about the safety of the playground a petition could be lodged at any time by presenting it to a councillor or the general manager to process in accordance with the Local Government Act.
A petition would then be tabled and considered by the council "on it's merits", Cr Knowles added.
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