Last Updated: April 1, 2015

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NSW Government plan to privatise playgrounds

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in a scene from film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1

A by-gone era: Parents and children playing in public playgrounds Source: Supplied

With his recent mandate for privatisation, Premier Mike Baird plans to sell-off public playgrounds.

Buoyed by their recent election victory and mandate to privatise public assets, the Baird government has taken a step further, moving to sell off all playgrounds in NSW. Premier Mike Baird says, ‘Kids don’t play in playgrounds anymore anyway’.

The government has indicated it will move quickly on the plan, saying the children of NSW are demanding better playgrounds inside the Minecraft world, not in their local neighbourhood, and the government is listening. The plan was initially slated to be a partial leasing arrangement, but it is now understood that a full sale is the preferred model, in order to craft the digital park out of higher quality materials such as redstone.

Reaction to the plan has been varied, with some groups suggesting children should occasionally go outside. Others have ridiculed that view as anachronistic, citing US research that kids already spend up to 8 hours a day on devices, and that government funds should be directed to where they will bring the most benefit, i.e. Minecraft.

When asked if any other games would be included in the plan, Premier Baird acknowledged that a town hall upgrade in a public Clash of Clans world was also considered, but that the television ads for that game were sufficiently annoying, that he wanted to avoid any public backlash.

KoalaSafe Co-founder Adam Mills weighed in, ‘I would rather see parents have the tools to balance screen and internet time, rather than just selling the parks’.

When queried on the timing of the announcement, the government spokesman said ‘April Fools is a great day for media releases’.

KoalaSafe is parental controls in a box. Daily time limits, age inappropriate site & app blocking, Google and YouTube Safesearch and Parental Insights (online usage and behavioural patterns) - across all devices in home. All managed from a simple smartphone app.

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