Moyne Shire and the Port Fairy Belfast Lions Club have collaborated in an impressive and inclusive renovation of Port Fairy's Martins Point playground.
The new playground was officially opened on Thursday morning by new Moyne mayor Ian Smith.
Cr Smith cut the ribbon on the playground's Liberty Swing, a specialised swing that can be used by people who require mobility aids such as wheelchairs.
The swing cost $65,000, with the local Lions Club contributing $20,000, the Australian Lions Federation $15,000, and Pacific Hydro and the South West Community Foundation $5000 each.
Moyne Shire chipped in $20,000 through its Community Assistance Fund.
The shire also funded the rest of the playground, which featured rubber soft-fall matting, a wheelchair carousel, three swings including a nest swing, accessible paths with musical instruments, landscaped play areas, a sandpit, double-slide and balancing beams, Cr Smith said.
The renovation cost $118,000, on top of the $65,000 for the Liberty Swing. Cr Smith said it was money well spent.
"Our playgrounds are key to helping promote an inclusive and active lifestyle in our community," he said.
The playground's designers made a conscious decision not to fence off the playground or the Liberty Swing, because of concerns it would stigmatise or segregate those using the equipment.
The mayor said the collaboration was a great example of the community working hand in hand with council to make a meaningful difference to people's lives.
"The next closest Liberty Swing is Colac, so this is a unique piece of equipment for Port Fairy and surrounds," he said.
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Martins Point was one of three playgrounds to be upgraded this year in Moyne's capital works program, along with works in Hawkesdale and Peterborough costing a total of $278,000.
Port Fairy Belfast Lions Club president Keith Dawson said the club was proud to contribute to the playground.
"It's a quality play area and we hope young and old get many years of pleasure from it," he said.
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