Basketball … here we come!

Basketball … here we come!
Tony Penna

I am absolutely delighted to be able to report that the City of Melbourne has listened to the suggestion put forward by Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) last year to establish a temporary basketball court for the community at Melbourne Square.

Following the closure of the basketball court at Boyd, the council has engaged in discussions with Melbourne Square developer, OSK, to temporarily use their vacant land diagonally opposite Boyd Park for the temporary court.

I give credit to the council for this proactive approach and was pleased when Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece declared at the Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting on Tuesday, March 28, “SRA, you suggested, and we listened”.

When the council listens to the suggestions of Southbank’s pre-eminent community voice this empowers our committee to keep working for great outcomes for our community. This is a remarkable outcome for Southbank for which the SRA committee is proud our incessant lobbying produced a practical result.

I say this is temporary as Southbank’s permanent basketball court will be facilitated within the Kings Way undercroft development which is due to be completed by the end of 2024.

I would like to thank all who completed our basketball survey in the last edition of Southbank News as that data helped inform the council of the community sentiment for temporarily using some of the green open space of Boyd Park. Two-thirds of the respondents were against using any of this scarce green open space for a temporary basketball court.

Unfortunately, there are delays with the undercroft redevelopment which meant the affordable living residential development began before the undercroft was finished (in fact, it hasn’t even started in this instance).

The reason why the basketball court was positioned where it was at Boyd as in the original plans it was proposed to have been located at the front of the library where the community garden is now.

SRA suggested the basketball court would be better positioned where it was as (at that time) the undercroft development was expected the be finished before the residential apartment complex. 

I think the past location served the basketball court well, which allowed for a permanent space for the community garden. At the time, I think that solution served the community well, and it is a great outcome to now find another temporary solution to allow our basketballers to once again have a space to shoot some hoops.

Once this space is open to the community, your SRA committee has decided to hold Southbank’s first basketball tournament to celebrate this great achievement. Watch this space and our Facebook page for further details once the basketball court is in operation.

Once again, I would like to remind our readers that our voice is only effective because of our members. Without membership we don’t have a voice. If you would like to support the work of our volunteer SRA committee then you can sign-up via our website at

It is a real pleasure to write a column when SRA is able to spruik a massive win it has achieved for the community. Thank you, for your support. •

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