‘Stupid' $10m park leaves kids burnt, battered
PARENTS have slammed a new $10 million park as dangerous after one child burnt his leg on a hot metal slide and another landed hard on concrete.
Hercules Street Park - unveiled by Minister for State Development Cameron Dick on January 10 after a year-long makeover - is part of Brisbane's Northshore Hamilton precinct, a 304ha priority development area for the State Government.
But parents say the park is poorly designed and "stupid", also because of inadequate shade and parking.
Beck Stephenson said she was alarmed to see her elder son Jack, 7, with a nasty burn mark on his upper thigh, hours after he complained that a small metal slide had hurt him.
Her younger son Archie, 4, narrowly escaped injury after rocketing off a larger metal slide and ending up "on his bum on the concrete, dazed".
"The slide didn't look dangerous but he went straight up into the air and over the soft-fall (landing) as there wasn't enough," Ms Stephenson said.
The larger slide has since been closed, just days after the park opened.
"If you're going to spend $10 million, why the hell would you use metal slides and not put in proper shade or safe landings for little kids? It's a stupid waste of taxpayer dollars," said Ms Stephenson, 39, a personal trainer.
"My kids are pretty tough, but my seven-year-old said the slide hurt, and when I put him in the shower that night he had a red burn mark.
"My four-year-old now won't use that slide either - it's blistering hot in the afternoon as the shade sails don't cover it."
The area has fixed sails overhead while an adjacent water-play zone has no shade at all.
"It's like someone just designed something that looked nice but didn't think about safety or to consult the people who use it," Ms Stephenson said.
Fellow Hamilton parent Diane O'Reilly said adults were also left out in the beating sun.
"There is only one undercover table from which you can watch your kids play, it's such a shame and a lost opportunity to do something great," said Ms O'Reilly, a marketing consultant.
"As for the parking, it's a joke, with only six spaces - four parents with prams and two disabled - then it's limited street parking with nowhere safe to cross the road."
Architect Nina Hillenberg said the park was a "real disappointment" from a design perspective.
"I lived at Portside for several years with high hopes my daughter could spend afternoons playing there but moved out because of its disappointing end result," she said.
Mr Dick said he had been reviewing the park following feedback after it opened.
"Earlier this month my department began working on solutions to the issues raised, including the installation of new shade structures in the park and improvements to play equipment," he said.
"To cater for more visitors and events in the area, a new 600-capacity car park has been built in Northshore.
"I will continue to monitor the park's operation and will listen to further suggestions to improve infrastructure and amenity."
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said once skin damage occurred from UV radiation, it was impossible to reverse, but it was never too late to make improvements to one's sun protection behaviours.
"Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and sunburn can occur in as little as 15 minutes," Ms McMillan said.