PARENTS have been dismayed to find sharp plastic shards left strewn in the Victoria Park inclusive play space at the weekend.
One parent sent photos of the damage to The Courier and said it had looked like the plastic panels had been broken on purpose.
"My family arrived at the Inclusive Play Space on Sunday afternoon and upon arrival we noticed the beautiful coloured panels on the gates had been broken. We immediately, started to scoop up the pieces to ensure that children did not touch them and hurt themselves,” parent Emily Roffe-Silvester said.
“At first we had assumed the hash winds from the week before was the cause, however, as we entered further into the play area, we noticed more broken panels. It was obvious now that this was an act of vandalism. We have lived in Ballarat for 3 years and have been very impressed with the Council's plans to include safe and fun areas for families.
“I'm completely devastated at these acts of vandalism particularly in areas that are children friendly. To the perpetrators I ask you to contemplate this; 'How can you value yourself as a member of society if you are unable to respect the simplest things such as a children's playground? When you purposely destroyed this area, you disrespected the taxpayers of Ballarat, the hard working people that built this area and the many families that enjoy it - how can we respect you when you are unable to do the same?”
M Roffe-Silvester thanked the City of Ballarat for fixing the space as a priority so that families can continue to enjoy it and feel safe doing so.
This comes a month after vandals burned parts of the Fairyland playground by Lake Wendouree.
Victoria Park’s inclusive play space has been designed to be accessible for people with a range of disabilities, including physical, sensory and neurological.
Opening in March last year, funding for the park came from a variety of sources including the Victorian government, Regional Development Victoria, City of Ballarat, Central Highlands Water and community fundraising efforts.
City of Ballarat infrastructure and environment director Terry Demeo said they are investigating the damage.
“The City of Ballarat will source replacement material to ensure the Victoria Park Inclusive Playspace is repaired as soon as possible.”