Residents in a Newcastle social housing estate have started a petition urging the NSW government not to remove one of two children's playgrounds in their neighbourhood - instead to fix it for families in the area.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said there were plans to tear down the play equipment at the government-owned park in Neill Terrace, Hamilton South, and replace it with turf.
The state of the equipment was described by one nearby resident as being dangerous, but those who live in the estate say the government should spend the money necessary to repair the playground or replace the equipment.
Mr Crakanthorp said he became aware of the government's plan for the site when it was outlined in an answer to a question on notice he asked the government last year.
He said it was a case of "demolition by neglect".
"The cost of a new playground is a drop in the ocean compared to what this government has made selling off social housing property," he said.
"For many Hamilton South residents getting in the car to go somewhere else simply isn't an option, and the value of facilities for families to gather and for kids to be active cannot be understated.
"Everyone deserves access to community infrastructure, regardless of whether you live in social, affordable or private housing."
Jan Patterson, a Hamilton South resident who runs the community Facebook page Hamilton South Community Solutions, said there were two playgrounds in the estate and both were in "dreadful condition".
She said the government should not have spent money erecting a fence and rebuilding a brick wall at the Neill Terrace site if it planned on pulling the playground out - that money could have been better spent repairing or replacing the equipment.
"It's just lazy to tell you the truth," she said.
"At the moment, there's nowhere really that's safe that the kids can get together and socialise and play."
Ms Patterson said the petition needed about 300 more signatures in order to make it to the minister's desk.
"There's nothing else in the estate for young families except these two playgrounds," she said.
"When you've got an estate this size and all these kids have is two broken down playgrounds there are challenges that come from that because they haven't got enough to do."
The office of NSW Housing Minister Melinda Pavey has been contacted for comment.
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