On many occasions during school holidays locals are forced to ask parents and young children not to abuse the exercise stations at the Iluka outdoor gym.
I noticed this morning that one of the stations has been closed off because it has been damaged.
Young children and teens on a daily basis use the equipment totally without parental supervision.
Children have been observed falling or being otherwise injured on numerous occasions and it has just been lucky that the injuries have not been serious enough for Council to be the object of a Court claim.
They climb where they shouldn’t climb, dirty the seats, slam the machinery beyond the normal range of motion, use the equipment faster and harder than the makers intended and generally attempt to deliberately damage the equipment.
There are small, almost unreadable notices on the individual exercises advising that the equipment was designed for adults and children OVER the age of 12.
Virtually nobody except a few locals takes any notice of these small notices.
What is needed is two large and prominent signs – one on the approach from the car park and one on the approach from the eastern end – prohibiting use by anybody younger than 12 years.
These signs must be in place before the September school holidays to prevent a serious accident.
As you would be aware, an accident could easily result in our already cash-strapped Council (and the ratepayers) facing a huge public liability payout in the millions of dollars.
A court of law would most certainly reject any claim that the existing small notices gave parents or children adequate warning.
This is certainly a case where prevention is better than facing the consequences of inaction.
After all, it was the local ratepayers who funded the installation in the first place.
The cost of two signs would be insignificant when compared to a public liability claim and the adverse publicity on national media.
I look forward to reading your response in the very near future.
Chris Richards, Iluka