Family's fight against $650 council fine
A BRIGHTWATER family is fighting to keep a portable basketball hoop on their kerb after they were issued with a $650 fine.
Trent Robinson, a senior Sunshine Coast lifeguard, said he "couldn't believe" the extent of the fine after he had already made an effort to ensure the hoop was in a safe place.
He said he bought the basketball hoop for children in the street to enjoy, who would be "devastated" if it was removed.
"Everyone's always out playing in the street so I thought it would be good to buy a little basketball hoop for the kids to play with," he said.
After receiving a card in the mail from Sunshine Coast Council last month advising him to move the hoop, Mr Robinson said he made sure it wasn't a tripping hazard.
"The base was about an inch over the footpath, so I thought that would be fair enough," he said. "I made sure I moved it a good couple of inches back on the grass so ... it wasn't a tripping hazard."
Mr Robinson he didn't hear anything until he received a text message saying "the time has passed for you to remove the basketball hoop".
Later, he received another notice containing the $650 fine.
"I just couldn't believe it was $650. I was thinking maybe $150, $120, but $650, I just thought it was so excessive for kids playing out on the street," he said.
Mr Robinson said the majority of neighbours in the cul-de-sac enjoyed the basketball hoop, and he wasn't sure why a complaint was made.
"All the kids come out and play and the parents even come out and play and have a beer and shoot some hoops," he said.
"That's what we bought it for. It's not just ours, the whole street uses it.
"I'm just really annoyed. The kids have so much fun out there, and the council wants to take that away because of maybe one complaint.
"It happens all the time where maybe one person ruins it for everybody."
After Mr Robinson vented his frustrations about the fine on social media, Division 6 Cr Christian Dickson said he was "disheartened" to see the sum of the fine.
"Hi Trent, I'm really disheartened to see a fine has been issued. A warning would've been more than sufficient. It's also the first time I've seen a fine issued like this in my time on council," he wrote to Mr Robinson.
Mr Robinson said he hoped to come to an arrangement with council where the basketball hoop can stay on the kerb.
"It's not like they're 16-year-old boys staying up late playing basketball. They're like four 11-year-old girls," he said.
Last month, Fairfax MP pledged $75,000 towards installing CCTV cameras at a Brightwater park after increased criminal activity in the area.
Mr Robinson said he thought a simple basketball hoop would be a useful addition to keep young people entertained.
"There's been heaps of juvenile problems in Brightwater itself. There's heaps of kids and teenagers running around, running wild," he said.
"You try and do the right thing, give them something to do."
A Sunshine Coast Council representative said a complaint had been made regarding the safety of the basketball hoop.
They said investigations found the hoop was not securely in place and was facing the road.
The council issued the hoop's owner with a compliance notice and gave him 14 days to comply.
"After attempting three times over five weeks to have the unsafe basketball hoop removed, without success, council issued the infringement notice," the representative said.
"As with this case, council's preference is to work with a resident to resolve an issue, with infringements issued only as a final resort."