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Trust grossly underestimates child numbers to protect high risk gate plan

Kim Ellis, CEO Centennial Park Trust, told the Wentworth Courier today that he expected “about 40 people an hour to cross at peak times” in order to reach the main gate of the planned Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden in front of horses exercising in the Park.

This is total fiction –simple maths shows Ellis’ forecast indicates a maximum of 43,800 visitors are expected through the main access point.

The Wild Play Garden is planned to open from 10am until 4pm, and even if every hour is a peak hour there will only be 87,600 crossings a year. (6hrsx365dayx40p) Each person needs to cross in then out, that’s really a tiny 43,800 visitors.

The Government should clearly state the maximum capacity of this enormous 6,000sqm Wild Play Garden and use that in risk calculations. Community donations and the public purse are paying $4 million for the playground. They have a right to know that kids will be safe based on proper forecasts.

Numbers reported have swung just as wildly as the children will play. These are some reported numbers of expected visitors published so far:

Only 40 kids per hour at peak times - Wentworth Courier 20/7/16

- 100,000 kids per year – number provided to Reliance Risk by CP Trust May/16

- 200,000 kids in the first year – NSW Government estimated Wentworth Courier 28/6/16

- “The project which will be based off the similar Ian Potter garden in the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens which had over 250,000 visits last year” Daily Telegraph 9/4/15

The failure of any safety reports used by The Trust to assess capacity traffic volume is beyond reckless. One review looked at current usage (without the Wild Play Garden) to assess future risks after opening the high-risk play area. The report did not factor in any extra people crossing the track near York Road Gates on Grand Drive.

If the Sydney Wild Play Garden proves more popular than the Melbourne facility it will mean over half a million ins/outs each year. That would mean at peak times there could be several hundred kids hanging out in the trees and throwing mud pies. A campaign to move the main entrance for these excited kids away from the horse track is critical to stop injury or worse.

The current design places children, prams and wheelchair users in the path of horses exercising at Centennial Park. An Expert Report states that the location of the entry on Grand Drive “would be very dangerous and put the people involved, and even those nearby, at risk of serious injury or death.”

Move the main entrance to a safe location on Loch Avenue or Dickens Drive and save the lives of children.

Read the Expert Risk Report and View the Plans https://www.facebook.com/KeepParkSafe/

Twitter: @Keep_Park_Safe