Braden Park basketball ring to be removed following noise complaints, despite strong community opposition

The basketball ring at Braden Park will be removed after noise complaints from nearby residents. Credit: Tyler Brown

by Tyler Brown

A well-used basketball ring at Braden Park, loved by many but hated by those living closest, will be removed just five months after it was installed.

The removal comes despite 77.2 per cent of those living within 200m of the Marmion park who responded to community consultation wanting it to stay.

It was only installed in September, at an estimated cost of $12,000, and was the result of a petition from local residents requesting a basketball pad as part of a park upgrade.

While City of Joondalup officers recommended the facility remain because of the “very strong” consultation results, an alternative motion from Cr Suzanne Thompson to have it removed was narrowly passed 7-6.

The motion was initially to have the whole basketball pad removed, which was estimated to cost about $6000, but was reduced to just the pole, backboard and ring because that would only cost about $800 and they could be reinstalled at another park.

It was suggested the remaining concrete pad could potentially be used for a picnic shelter in the future.

Cr Thompson said while it was the City’s “protocol to consult the whole community”, she believed the most weight should be given to those living closest to the park and having their lives impacted.

According to Cr Russ Fishwick, 100 per cent of respondents living in the closest radius to the park strongly supported the removal of the basketball pad, as did 87 per cent in the next closest radius.

“Those who are not affected by the thump, thump noise disturbance have little or no regard for the impact this noise has on other residents living closer,” he said.

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Nature Play WA chief executive Griffin Longley said councils were “in a really difficult position when it comes to issues like this, trying to balance the needs of different residents”.

He said while he knew the council would not have made its decision lightly, and he did not want to criticise it, in general there needed to be more opportunities for play being created, not less.

“If, on balance, the council believes this basketball court is not appropriate in this location, the next question has to be what will be done to replace it?” Mr Longley said. “Removing a play opportunity cannot be the end of the story.”

“We all have a great responsibility to children and young people to ensure there are opportunities for the physical activity, social connection and community participation that supports them to be grow up healthy and well-adjusted.

“As a society, we need to assign great importance to play; in backyards, in neighbourhood parks, and beyond. Without it, we risk fostering the boredom that is at the heart of bad behaviour and the sedentary isolation that gets in the way of kids reaching their full potential, and that is an issue for our whole communities.”

Read the full story at The West Australian