Fire Truck Memorial Playground to be installed at Buxton

Fire Truck Memorial Playground to be installed at Buxton

Posted on: 22.07.2020

A fire truck themed playground will serve as an ongoing reminder to the Buxton community of the sacrifice that was made to protect their village during the devastating Green Wattle Creek Fire.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, Wollondilly Council approved an amendment of the Telopea Park Master Plan to allow for the installation of a Rural Fire Service (RFS) Fire Truck Memorial Playground within the park.

The request for a memorial playground at Telopea Park was raised by the Buxton community as a fitting tribute to RFS volunteers, Mr Andrew O’Dwyer and Mr Geoffrey Keaton, who tragically lost their lives on 19 December 2019 in their efforts to protect the community from the Green Wattle Creek Bushfire.

Community engagement undertaken in relation to the proposed Fire Truck Memorial Playground, including the families of the lost firefighters, showed there was overwhelming community support for the project.

Mayor Matthew Deeth said, “This will be a wonderful tribute to the firefighters who lost their lives defending our residents and their homes from the bushfires, and an important reminder to the local community of what happened during the 2019-20 bushfires.”

“I’d like to thank the community advocates, particularly the Buxton RFS and Kim Hill, who successfully secured a range of external funding towards the playground equipment. Their hard work and enthusiasm will help make this project a reality.”

Funding was also allocated from the Commonwealth Government’s $1 million Recovery Grant in February, when Council indicated its support for the proposal.

The community engagement process identified the preferred location for the new playground within the park. Many respondents also suggested the inclusion of some park seats and plaques specifically dedicated to the two firefighters.

The Telopea Park Master Plan amendments will include:

  • An RFS Fire Truck Memorial Playground with shade provision, landscaping and park seating, including memorial plaque/s
  • An update of the existing playground with the selected design, allowing for future shade structure provision
  • Adapting the connection routes between some of the facilities due to minor changes required during construction.