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Council backs away from threats of immediate fines over Thirroul basketball hoop

Wollongong City Council has backed away from threats of fines over neighbourhood basketball hoop. Inset: Cr Mithra Cox. Picture: Edwin Ariel Valladares on Pexels.com
The offending basketball hoop in Kilncar Crescent, Thirroul. Picture: Google Streetview

WOLLONGONG City Council have backed-down on a threat to slap residents of McCauley’s Beach Estate with fines for placing a basketball hoop in their street.

Greens Councillor Mithra Cox has slammed the decision by the Council to ban children playing basketball in their quiet street.

The hoop, in Kilncar Crescent, reportedly had been used by neighbourhood children for over five years without issue.

Residents in recent days have received warnings from Council to remove their communal basketball hoop or receive an on the spot fine of $330.

“Kids should be able to play on their street, instead of being stuck indoors on screens,” Cr Cox said.

“Banning kids playing is a joke. I want to live in a city were streets are safe and welcoming for children, and people of all ages.

“Just because one resident may have complained about the sound of kids playing is no reason for the fun police to start threatening fines. 

“Our suburban back streets should not be thoroughfares for speeding cars – they are places where people live, and Council should be doing everything possible to make them friendly places for kids to play, ride bikes and walk.

“As a parent you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. We all want kids to be outside playing but when you do someone whinges and then they are forced back indoors.”

Cr Cox said she raised the matter within Council and sought a reversal to allow children to continue to play on their street.

A Council spokesperson said in response to a community concern Council staff last month visited parts of the McCauley’s Beach Estate to discuss sporting equipment, which was on Council land without approval. 

“Staff had met with a number of McCauley’s Beach residents at the time,” the spokesperson said.

“Where residents were not home, staff left a business card to let them know of the visit. Following up on the visit, Council sent a letter requesting residents to move the basketball hoops from Council-owned land.

“The matter has been reviewed and we’ve advised residents that there will be no immediate enforcement action undertaken.”


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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