Deferral puts ball in community’s court

A basketball court had been installed in the carpark area of South Beach in the 1990s as a response to community concerns about anti-social behaviour and hooning.

But the need for more parking in the area forced the city to remove it in 2011.

Since its removal, city officials have been searching for a new place to put the facilities, with Wilson Park discussed as an option.

But after receiving almost a dozen community consultation submissions and two petitions that strongly opposed the location, last week’s committee decided to defer a final decision over the location until it could hold further discussions with locals over their preferences.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the decision not to build it at Wilson Park would not stop the city from building new basketball facilities elsewhere.

‘The real question will be whether the Esplanade Youth Plaza or South Beach is the best option for basketball,’ he said.

‘If at South Beach, one option I would personally |support is just behind the change rooms.’

Also on the agenda for Wilson Park were ways to protect its vegetation, with committee members discussing the possibility of installing bollards along the park’s boundary to control how cars are able to access the park.

Plans to undergo landscaping works to protect the park’s mature trees were also discussed.

Dr Pettitt said the committee agreed to do the bollards and returfing sooner rather than later to protect the area.

‘This is important to better control vehicle access on the park and make sure it remains a recreation area for most of the year except in absolute peak times,’ he said.