The fun police are really here to help us out
MAYOR Noel Playford's father did it almost 100 years ago along the river without council intervention, but times have changed and that summer tradition of swinging from tree ropes along Weyba Creek has gone too far for council's comfort.
And pleasing the conservationists and the kids who like to go out on a limb to have fun, could end up costing ratepayers as much as $220,000 for a remedial fix.
The damage has come about because Weyba Creek esplanade near Leslie Dr is a favourite water playground for local kids, backpackers and anyone who cares to cool off.
Councillors last Thursday passed on a cheaper option of spending $18,000 plus $6000 for tree removals as the preferred option.
Instead they opted for a process of "engagement with the local community in the design and install of a bank stabilisation and access structure" for recreational purposes. Works will include erosion mitigation.
Cr Playford, who told councillors of his father's swinging days, said the council was obliged to take some action now that it had been alerted to the possible safety risks associated with swinging off trees with badly eroded roots out of "a duty of care".
"A number of trees which lend themselves to swing trees for jumping from the bank into the creek are likely to fall in the foreseeable future," environment officer Jan Maddin said in her report to the council.
"There is a high level of risk to the public due to the current state of the bank and erosion at the base of the popular swing trees."
Cr Frank Pardon noted at Thursday's council meeting that there were "young kids and mums and dads" in the public gallery who had been alarmed by reports that council might be about to close the area down.
Cr Pardon said from the report "it just looks like council's going in there to tear down the ladders and trees (of) the kids and their swings".
He said the council vote was about reassuring "the people interested in the rehabilitation of the area, which surely it needs" and also the kids.