South Western Times
Rings run around hoop debate
Bunbury MLA Don Punch has slam-dunked a South West shire for debating a “silly” issue of removing an outdoor basketball court for being too noisy. The Times last week reported on a Capel councillor’s push to remove a basketball hoop and backboard at Daablone Vista park in Dalyellup, after a fed-up resident commissioned their own “acoustic report” to show the ball bouncing noise was “too loud”.
Bunbury MLA Don Punch has slammed a local Shire in his electorate for “wasting time” debating removing an outdoor basketball court after a disgruntled neighbour complained the sound of bouncing balls was “too noisy”.
The South Western Times reported last week about a lengthy debate at a Capel Shire meeting when Cr Kieran Noonan pushed to remove a backboard and hoop at the Daablone Vista playground and park in Dalyellup,
It came after a local resident commissioned their own “acoustic report” which showed the sound of balls bouncing and hitting the backboard was too loud “by at least five decibels to 16 decibels depending upon the time of day”.
The family friendly park had been a point of contention for the community over the past year, which included the hoop being removed last April.
It was reinstated soon after a Shire survey in October found 10 of 13 neighbours supported the court.
But tensions continued to rise to the point where one fed-up resident commissioned an independent sound engineer’s report to show it was too loud.
Shire president Michael Southwell said the hoop was initially removed by staff without the council’s knowledge after police received a noise complaint about antisocial behaviour.
Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the issue was laughable and the day people started telling children they could not play a game of basketball in a public park was a disappointing time.
“It’s a park, it’s a basketball hoop. “What do kids do in a park? They play,” he said.
“I get so many complaints that there’s nothing for kids to do and then to possibly take something away that kids are using seems a bit silly to me.
“I don’t know why the council is wasting so much time on it to be honest, they should just make a decision and go with it.”
While the issue may seem trivial to some, Cr Southwell said it had been a learning experience for the council.
“It’s a serious issue that brings about fundamental questions about what is our role and what are we responsible for,” he said.
“We’re supposed to provide facilities like a basketball court and help people have better amenity for how they live.”
Cr Southwell said he hoped the council would reach a decision that would solve everyone’s problems at this month’s meeting.
He said the Town of Victoria Park in Perth had a similar issue and changed the material of the backboard in question — an option that could prove viable for Dalyellup.
“We need a non-binary solution,” he said.
“Not does it stay or does it go, but somewhere in the middle,” he said.
“Hopefully people will be able to play and it won’t be as loud.”