Basketball hoop controversy leads to shire verge review

A review of the local law Activities in Thoroughfares and Public Places and Trading Local Law 2012 will be undertaken by the Shire of Collie council. 

At the latest council meeting on Tuesday, October 23 the shire council moved an alternative motion by councillor Elysia Harverson to undertake a review of the local law, focusing specifically on verge treatments.

The motion came about after an application was submitted for a basketball hoop to be located on the verge at 55 Ogden Street. The hoop is located 6.7 metres away from the road. 

The shire received a number of complaints from the adjoining neighbour in relation to a basketball hoop on the verge at the address.

The neighbour listed several reasons including trespassing, property damage, noise and privacy concerns, as well as the position of the hoop being an unsafe location for children to be playing.

Responding to the complaints, shire officers carried out a site inspection at the property and discussed the matter with both parties.

This resulted in an application being made for a permissible verge treatment for the basketball hoop under Section 2.8 of the Shire of Collie Activities in Thoroughfares and Public Places and Trading Local Law 2012. 

As the proposal is contrary to the local law, there is no ability for council to grant an approval for the hoop.

Council dismissed the application because under the local law it states that ‘a person shall not install or maintain a verge treatment which is not a permissible verge treatment.’

It also states that to ‘play or participate in any game or sport so as to cause danger to any person or thing or impede the movement of vehicles or persons on a thoroughfare’ is prohibited under the law. 

Resident of 55 Ogden Street Jamie Wood said he agreed with council’s decision to review the local law.

“To say that kids are not allowed to play any sport on a verge is the silliest thing I've heard, it's no different to kicking a footy or riding a bike on a cycle way that is against the road curbing,” Mr Wood said. 

“I do believe that it should stay as we as a community should be encouraging kids to be active as well as to interact with other kids in the neighbourhood.

“This has come about because one neighbour has complained, every other neighbour supports it being there.”

While the review of the local law is taking place the hoop will stay on the verge at the property. However, there is an alternative for the owner to relocate the hoop onto their property.

Shire of Collie president Sarah Stanley said other local governments have also begun to review the list of permissible verge treatments.