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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Play Australia leading this movement?

Australians have a problem with their health and wellbeing:

  • 1 in 4 children (2-17 years) and 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese (AIHW, 2019)
  • 1 in 3 people have no neighbours they see or hear from on a monthly basis, and nearly 1 in 2 people have no neighbours they can call for help (APS, 2018)

Play Australia is committed to leading the 1000 Play Streets movement as key part of our 2020-25 strategy, encouraging more active and socially connected communities through play, to ultimately build the health and wellbeing of communities.

To read more on this, visit our BACKGROUND to the movement.

What is a Play Street?

A Play Street is a simple concept – it is a quiet residential street where neighbours of all ages CONNECT and PLAY together, led by the local community and supported by the Local Government Authority – normally lasting 2-3 hours.

This is about creating approaches that involve both communities and LGAs to enable local residents to regularly come together and play safely on their quiet residential streets.

Currently, Play Australia is exploring the use of temporary road closures to enable Play Streets to occur – i.e. residents meet on a particular day and time, involving the safe closure of their street, supported by their LGA.

Importantly, a Play Street is led by the local community, for the local community, for the purpose of NEIGHBOURS CONNECTING and HAVING FUN.

For more information, we recommend you read our PLAY STREETS PRINCIPLES.

What is 1000 Play Streets?

1000 Play Streets is the name of the movement Play Australia is leading to empower Australians to reclaim our quiet residential streets across Australia as places for neighbours to connect and play on a regular basis, to ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. OUR VISION is that children, families, neighbours, pedestrians, bike riders and motorists are given equal priority on our quiet residential streets, to share these important community spaces in a safe and respectful manner every day of the week. We are working toward achieving 1000 Play Streets in Australia by June 2025.

Are you closing streets?

Play Australia is not planning on closing streets, we are trying to open quiet residential streets for PLAY. Currently, Play Australia is exploring the use of temporary road closures to enable Play Streets to occur – i.e. residents meet on an agreed day and time, involving the safe closure of their street supported by their LGA.

What this may mean for road users, is that they would be either diverted around the Play Street during their journey or supported safely through a Play Street, with the help of a Traffic Controller or Marshall.

Whether or not vehicles can use roads during temporary street closures for Play Streets, is dependent on LGA policy. Due to the nature of Play Streets, we are focussed on quiet residential streets and LGAs would work to ensure minimal disruption to residents who choose not to participate and road users.

Which streets will be involved?

Ultimately, it comes down to local communities and LGAs working together to create their Play Streets. Play Australia is encouraging interested communities to connect with their LGAs in the first instance (or vice versa). This is a community-led movement for Australia.

We would also never advertise which streets are involved, as these events are for local residents in local streets (and they decide who to invite). These are not meant to be mass gatherings or events for broader community, as a key focus is building connections between neighbours.

How can my street get involved?

Please visit our FOR COMMUNITIES section of the 1000 Play Streets webpage to understand HOW communities can get involved. Visit here.

Is there a cost for my street to get involved?

There are costs involved with coordinating Play Streets.

Every Local Government Authority which has developed a Play Streets policy will understand the costs of implementation. They will also be able to provide advice regarding how these costs are shared with residents.

For example- many LGAs require residents to have public liability cover to become involved; some LGAs require residents to cover these costs whilst other LGAs absorb these costs themselves.

This is a conversation you will need to have with your LGA

What if I live on a busy road, but I want to participate in a Play Street?

The best course of action is to contact your LGA and enquire as to whether there are any Play Streets close by that you could attend OR any opportunities to coordinate Play Streets in quiet residential roads close by.

Your LGA is best placed to assist you.

What help is available from Play Australia?

If you are a local resident, please visit our FOR COMMUNITIES section to understand the support Play Australia can provide to you.

If you are from a LGA, please visit our FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES section to understand the support Play Australia can provide to you.

Please note, much of this content is under development as we continue to learn about Play Streets and develop our resources.

We apologise in advance if we cannot field all community enquiries with a personal phone call or meeting, as we currently do not have the internal staffing required to provide one-to-one assistance.

Shouldn’t our children play in backyards and parks instead?

Children need to play outside every day to support healthy development, which means they need access to local outdoor spaces every day for play. So yes, children should play in backyards and parks, we 100% agree.

However, there are a range of reasons we are seeking to open our streets for play as well.

Firstly, we are seeking to connect neighbours who live near one another to build social connection, feelings of belonging and improve mental wellbeing, so our streets are the obvious place to do this, as our streets are the shared community spaces in front of our homes.

Secondly, backyards are shrinking as our density of living continues to increase, which means less space for outside play around homes, particularly when it comes to active play and especially when it comes to riding bikes, scooters or skateboarding.

Thirdly, not everyone has easy access to local parks and not every parent has the time or opportunity to transport their child to the local park, due to a range of personal reasons which means we need to find other outside spaces for children’s play every day.

Using quiet residential streets for play alongside backyards and parks (if children can access these settings) makes good sense.

What about motorists who need to drive along roads during a Play Street?

Firstly, we recommend regular Play Streets only take place on quiet residential roads, which means our busy thoroughfares or roads that support bus routes should not be involved, as we want to support safe environments for children and communities at all times.

Currently, Play Australia is exploring the use of temporary road closures to enable Play Streets to occur – i.e. residents meet on an agreed day and time, involving the safe closure of their street supported by their LGA.

What this may mean for road users, is that they would be either diverted around the Play Street during their journey or supported safely through a Play Street, with the help of a Traffic Controller or Marshall.

Whether or not vehicles can use roads during temporary street closures for Play Streets, is dependent on LGA policy.

Due to the nature of Play Streets, we are focussed on quiet residential streets and LGAs would work to ensure minimal disruption to residents who choose not to participate and road users.

This movement is about sharing roads safely and wherever possible working together so children can play, cyclists can ride, pedestrians can walk and motorists can get to where they are going without too much fuss.

Should children be supervised by an adult during Play Streets?

Parents are responsible for the welfare of their children at all times and as such are best placed to decide what level of supervision is right for their child and at what age they allow their child to play independently within communities.

In addition, an essential factor within a Play Street is to ensure the safety of children and communities at all times when they are using the streets as shared spaces, which involves communities working with their LGAs to create safe environments.

Safety is paramount always.

Does Play Australia support informal play on the streets?

We support play within communities approved by LGAs and residents (i.e. parents) that ensures the safety of children at all times.

We recognise that informal street play happens in Australian communities every day, and in these instances we recommend that residents and LGAs work together to ensure safe environments for all involved.

Thank you for reading if you didn’t find the answer you’re looking for please get in touch via email: info@playaustralia.org.au and we’ll endeavour to respond soon.

Download the FAQs in PDF format here.