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Opening up ovals and playgrounds for community use as part of $290 million package

After a successful NSW Government trial over summer, more than 80 public schools will throw open their gates these school holidays to allow everyone in the community to enjoy their playgrounds, ovals and sports courts.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes launched an expanded Share Our Space Program at Taverners Hill Infants School today that will provide access to enjoy more than 80 school playgrounds during the coming school holidays.

The $30 million Share Our Space Program follows Monday’s $120 million commitment to secure strategic open spaces for public use and to build more than 200 new and improved playgrounds. The announcements form part of the NSW Government’s new $287.5 million Open Spaces and Green Sydney package, with more announcements to be revealed in coming days.

“The trial last summer was so successful we are delighted to be extending it to almost double the number of schools next holidays, giving families more options to use valuable open space in communities right across the state” Ms Berejiklian said. “It has never made sense to me that schools are locked up over the holiday period. I’m pleased we are taking action to address this.”

Mr Stokes said school playgrounds are valuable assets and by making them accessible outside of the school term they can provide a broader benefit to the whole community, including opportunities for sport on school ovals.

“We learned a lot from the pilot program – kids don’t want to be stuck indoors during the holidays, and communities respected and welcomed having access to their outdoor school facilities,” Mr Stokes said.

Participating schools will receive a $5000 grant that they can use to help upgrade their facilities for community and school use. The playgrounds will be open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week, from 16 to 27 April 2018.

A list of participating schools is available on the School Infrastructure website.

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