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Keith Stephenson Park Renewal

15th September 2023

What we’re doing

Keith Stephenson Park (KSP) as a regional level reserve is recognised as being an extremely popular and highly regarded public destination in Mount Barker.

The KSP playground is now approaching the end of its useful life and is due for renewal.

In 2019, public consultation on a draft play concept was undertaken through online surveys and a public display held at KSP, which received a significant number of responses and overwhelming support for an upgrade to the existing playground.

Rather than replace the existing playground like-for-like, renewal funding has been combined with new capital funding to plan, design and deliver a significant upgrade to the existing play space.

As a result, an exciting new playspace is being created for all ages incorporating new play equipment including some bespoke elements, a sandpit, nature and water play, landscaping and softfall, irrigation, lighting, concrete footpaths, shelters, shade sails, outdoor furniture, waste bins and fencing.

Council has released the final concept plan for the play space upgrade for Keith Stephenson Park following community engagement.  Keith Stephenson Park Playspace Upgrade | Your Say Mount Barker

Shade structures and fencing around the children’s playground were the two most common suggestions from the community, both of which have been included in the final design.

Other suggestions that have been added to the design are water play features, more seating near the play area and seating that can accommodate multiple group gatherings in the park.

How much it is going to cost

$1,300,000 ($1,095,000 for construction)


2022/23 into 2023/24 (tentatively November 2023).


KSP playground is failing to meet community expectations for play and appearance given it is a regional level reserve, and equipment is nearing end of life. The masterplan recommends that nature play be developed within the park. Feedback from the public also indicates a more inclusive play experience is desired. Redesign of the KSP playground to incorporate nature play with the upgrade of play equipment to provide an inclusive play experience.

The Progress

Design has been completed and a call for tender will be issued shortly for construction.

April 2023

Adelaide Property & Gardens (APG) has been appointed by Council to undertake construction of the new playground and they will be mobilising to site during the first week of May 2023.

Early critical activities will include temporary fencing, the demolition and removal of the existing playground, apart from the triangular rope-climbing frame which is to remain as part of the new playground, and undergrounding of existing overhead power lines and installation of new electrical switchboards and power supply to the existing park barbeques which have recently been out-of-action.

Construction works are expected to take around 5 months to complete (subject to weather) with the intention to have the new playground open for community use by the Spring 2023 school holidays.

A total project cost of around $1.3million is being partly funded by $600,000 Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) grant funding.

Council apologises for any inconvenience in advance whilst these upgrade works are undertaken and asks all park users to be vigilant during construction.

May 2023

Council has partnered with the Rotary Club, who dismantled the existing playground earlier this week as part of a program of re-purposing equipment for use in developing countries, a great outcome for all parties concerned.

June 2023

  • Main contractor (APG) mobilised to site
  • Construction site fully fenced off
  • Site clearance underway (triangular climbing frame being retained)
  • Old playground removed and to be re-purposed by Rotary Club
  • Electrical undergrounding and associated works underway

28 June 2023

As you would expect given the amount of rain over the last few weeks, it’s not a pretty sight, the site is waterlogged and likely to remain unworkable for the foreseeable future!

Contractors will continue to work as and when weather allows, but progress is expected to slow with a revised completion date now indicated for November 2023.

July 2023

Despite ongoing delays caused by wet weather, the contractor is continuing to make progress:

  • Site clearance and set out for footpaths, shelters and play equipment continuing
  • 2 park shelters erected
  • Rock-lined swale boxed out, benched and prepped
  • Rock walling around 3m turtle underway
  • Fabrication of bespoke play elements continuing off-site
  • Electrical undergrounding/associated works to getting underway

August 2023

Despite an ongoing wet site, the contractor continues to make reasonable progress:

  • Underground electrical conduits completed within playground
  • New concrete footpath from playground to toilet block completed
  • Concrete kerbing for internal footpaths
  • Box-out and rock-lined swale through playground
  • Rock work and walling around 3m turtle progressing
  • First piece of play equipment installed (carousel)
  • Fabrication of bespoke play elements continuing off-site

Completion remains on track at this time for December 2023.

September 2023

Despite the winter weather, the contractor continue to make reasonable progress:

  • Most of the site remains wet - apart from the area for the new nature play where construction efforts have been focussed over the past couple of weeks
  • Preparation for new internal concrete footpaths & block paving continuing
  • Rock work around 3m turtle now complete
  • First piece of play equipment installed (Carousel), installation of swing commencing
  • Installation of concrete bases / Council rubbish bins
  • Fabrication of 3 bespoke play elements continuing off-site

15 September 2023 Update

The Spring weather is upon us and the site has dried out well over the past couple of weeks.

Site activities are ramping up as a result including;

  • New nature play area is well advanced and approaching completion
  • Preparation for new internal footpaths & block paving continuing
  • Concrete edging to internal footpaths ongoing
  • Rock work wall around 3m turtle now complete
  • Rock lined swale ongoing
  • Installation of play equipment continues (carousel, swing, trampoline - slide still awaited)
  • Installation of concrete bases/Council rubbish bins
  • Fabrication of 3 no. bespoke play elements continuing off-site (due on-site in 6 weeks)
  • Main underground water supply to drinking fountains/irrigation/taps installed
  • Sub-soil drainage commenced
  • Underground electrical conduits installed both internal/external to playground
  • Crane on-site today to position shade sail posts