Play money: Victorian Government backs Livvi’s Place

Ready to play: Suzette Hosken, Cr Helen Patsikatheodorou and Ros Spence MP inspect the site for Livvi's Place.

The Victorian Government has announced it will contribute $600,000 towards Hume City Council’s inclusive playspace at Craigieburn Park.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said the pledge was exciting news.

“This is a real win for Craigieburn, and the generations of children who will love what is set to be called Livvi’s Place,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“The Victorian Government’s pledge will make a big difference as we create an area that can allow children to enjoy the wonders of play, regardless of their background or ability.

“Livvi’s Place will help children to gain fantastic skills, as its features enable youngsters to create, problem solve, and be independent.

“Hume will situate Livvi’s Place in the middle of Craigieburn Park, where the playspace will be popular for its slides, tunnels, swings, bridges, cubby house, and carousel.

“It shall be a place where families can gather and enjoy a wonderful time, thanks to timber seats, BBQs, picnic lawns, and shelter.

“Livvi’s Place is set to be a great park for children who love to explore, and it will also help Hume’s young people to get some exercise.”

The new playspace is intended to support one of Australia’s fastest growing suburbs, with Craigieburn’s population expected to jump from 44,000 in 2016 to 65,000 in 2031.

More than four per cent of Hume residents aged younger than nine suffer from a disability and require assistance.

Hume City Council has designed Livvi’s Place in conjunction with Aspect Studios and architectural firm Peddle Thorp.

Technical advice has been provided by the Touched by Olivia Foundation, an organisation founded by John and Justine Perkins after their daughter, Olivia, died from a rare illness.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said Hume had asked many people about what they would like to see at Livvi’s Place.

“Our designers spoke with children at schools like Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School, Mount Ridley College, Willmot Park Primary School and Aitken Creek Primary School,” she said.

“We also consulted with parents of children with disabilities, and people told us that they wanted things like musical elements, crunchy surfaces and fences.

“Hume City Council and the Touched by Olivia Foundation have incorporated these suggestions in the playspace’s concept plan, which was released in draft form in late 2015.

“Livvi’s Place will be an area that inspires so many, and it’s something everyone can look forward to.”

Craigieburn Park is to be situated near Craigieburn Central Shopping Centre, in a 12.14 hectare area bounded by Aitken Boulevard, Marathon Boulevard, Windrock Avenue, and Central Park Avenue.

The $48.5 million site shall include an aquatic and leisure centre, athletics track, war memorial, lush parklands, and a car park.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said the Victorian Government would support Livvi’s Place through the Interface Growth Fund.

“We’re very grateful that Minister Natalie Hutchins has established a fund to support infrastructure in the expanding outer suburbs of Melbourne,” she said.

“I want to particularly thank the State Member for Yuroke, Ros Spence, who has helped to advocate on behalf of the inclusive playspace.”

The northern elements of Craigieburn Park are expected to open in mid-2016, with the Craigieburn Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre to open in 2017.

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Posted on 12:00 AM, 31 March 2016

Updated : 1:07 PM, 31 March 2016

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