Letter to the Premier from City of Stonnington

Published on 19 August 2021

Mayor Cr Kate Hely

Letter to Premier from City of Stonnington

Dear Premier Andrews

Re: Closure of Outdoor Playgrounds

On behalf of the City of Stonnington and our community, we call on the State Government to open our playgrounds.

At the City of Stonnington Council Meeting on 18 August 2021, Council resolved

The City of Stonnington calls on the state government to urgently work with local Councils in metropolitan Melbourne to put all necessary COVID safe measures in place so that our outdoor playgrounds can re-open as soon as safely possible.

Council understands the motivations of the state government in closing high risk settings at this crucial turning point of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Melbourne's toughened lockdown is overwhelming for our already stressed families, children and community. Outdoor play for children is vitally important for their development, exercise needs and mental health. We are hearing reports every day that children are struggling with anxiety, depression and thoughts of harming themselves.

In the City of Stonnington play spaces have never been more important for our community, 73.5% of our households are medium or high density, compared to 33% in Greater Melbourne. Our families do not have spacious backyards and rely on council open play spaces.

Our playgrounds are an essential service that provides children with a safe health environment for outdoor play and exercise.

We are very concerned about the future impacts of these tightened restrictions on our next generation. 

Council believes that we can safely manage our parks, open spaces and playgrounds to minimise the risk of infection so that healthy play space for children in our community (for example QR codes, patrols, enhanced cleaning and signage). We have done so for the past 18 months.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Cr Kate Hely

Mayor, City of Stonnington Councillor for North Ward