Vandals have damaged Blacktown’s newest attraction less than a month after it was opened.
The $15 million Bungarribee Park was officially unveiled on Saturday, March 25 as the latest extension to Western Sydney Parklands.
Only three weeks later on the weekend of April 15-16, several panels on the large climbing tower were damaged or removed, making it potentially unsafe.
A Western Sydney Parklands Trust (WSPT) spokeswoman said the incident was reported to Blacktown Police.
“All damaged panels have been replaced. Painting will be finalised next week,” she told the Sun last week.
Blacktown resident Albert Gravino is concerned though that the design of the tower could be putting children at risk.
He said the act of vandalism highlighted that the panels could easily be broken, potentially exposing children to a dangerous drop between steel bars that are 18 inches apart.
Mr Gravino said there should be steel mesh or additional steel uprights behind the panels.
“The gaps are more than big enough for someone to fall through and this is a very high tower,” he said.
“There is nothing on the inside to prevent a child from falling out if the material is broken at play.
“There are hundreds of kids climbing this tower and their safety should be a priority.”
The Parklands spokeswoman said the design and construction of the tower was certified to meet Australian standards for playgrounds.
“Our maintenance and landscape contractors conduct early morning inspections of our playgrounds daily,” she said.
“The safety and integrity of the structure has not been compromised.
“The panels could not be accidentally damaged by children playing.”
Mr Gravino said while the tower might be fine for everyday use, the vandalism showed it was still a safety risk.
“I do not have an engineering degree, but I've been in mechanical and construction all my working life, and have been a safety officer for 15 years, and I consider this to be unsafe,” he said.