Myrtle-Macleay Park in North Balwyn is huge area in Boroondara comprising 5 ovals in total and catering for a number of different sports & activities:
- Football: AFL, Soccer
- Fitness groups, personal training, boxing
- Children's playground
Clearly when a number of these activities are engaging at any one time, there will be a significant impact on local residents - noise, parking, traffic etc. Living next to a park, school or community hub of any sort will inevitably impact on local residents both negatively and positively; nevertheless these spaces are for all residents and rate payers in the City of Boroondara to enjoy at some time.
Unfortunately some users of the Park are not considerate of the surrounding residents. The Boroondara Netball Association does not condone such behaviour and our members clubs and court hirers are required to sign their agreement that "Local residents and their property must be respected at all times - no excessive noise, damage or disturbance other than that required to run a netball program."
- The Boroondara Netball Centre takes up one of the five ovals in the Park.
- The BNC is the only dedicated netball facility in the City of Boroondara.
- The BNA Saturday Netball Competition runs for 26 Saturdays per year between 8am and 5.00pm.
- The BNA Junior Development Program runs for 26 Fridays per year between 4pm and 5.30pm (1.5 hrs).
- Therefore there are 26 Fridays & Saturdays with no organised netball programs at all.
- Mid week club training sessions have no access to the pavilion and most are over by dusk - the latest being 6.30pm.
- The Boroondara Netball Centre is not enclosed and the court surface & rotundas are available for anyone to use.
- There is significant community use of the venue when netball is not active - children riding bikes, skateboarding, motorised cars, dancing, children's parties, gatherings, picnic
We are always open to working with local residents on constructive ideas to reduce impact from netballers. Unfortunately we do not have influence over other users of the Park.
One of the most common arguments regarding the expansion of netball facilities is that we are replacing grassy areas with hard surfaces. This concept is then extrapolated to mean we are taking up "green space" which is "bad for the environment".
However "green space" is more than just a patch of grass. The value of green space is to enhance our opportunities to enjoy the outdoor environment. It is valuing / respecting the space, maintaining the surrounding nature and encouraging community access to outdoor environments that they value.
Creating outdoor community sporting opportunities does not need to be in competition with the environment; they should be complementary. Physical activity, community social engagement and time in nature are all well known to enhance community wellbeing.
The Boroondara Netball Association is currently developing an environmental sustainability program - NatureNet - which will be implemented in a staged approach at Netball Centre (Macleay Park).
- Stage 1: Community Engagement & Education to position BNA as a leading environmentally friendly sporting organisation, to lead change
- Stage 2: Focus on Waste Management - key campaign on reducing singles use plastics
- Stage 3: Focus on further reducing carbon emissions such as reducing energy useage and water management
Our sustainability program is based on the inspiring Zoos Victoria Sustainability program. Click on Zoos Victoria Sustainability
Traffic management and parking is a long term issue which must be addressed regardless of decisions relating to the provision of netball facilities. Netballers are often "blamed" but there are now significantly more users of Macleay Park (see above). The issues include:
- safety, particularly for children
- the unfair impact on local residents due to a lack of consideration by a minority of Park users
- the frustration and inconvenience for Park users in sourcing a parking space and waiting in long queues to exit the Park.
From a Netball perspective there is a high turnover of traffic due to back to back rounds, required to accomodate the current demand for netball. Our advocacy for additional courts will alleviate this to some extent as we will be able to 1) increase game times and 2) allow time between rounds to clear the venue.
From the Park perspective, there is only one entry and exit point from Belmore Road with no option for one-way movement through the Park, primarily due to opposition from some local residents.
An urgent traffic assessment is required to resolve the issue, not by restricting useage of the Park, but by creating solutions, particularly during peak periods when there are multiple user groups.
Other sporting codes:
As our community grows and our appreciation of the value of "green space" is increasing, many sporting codes are experiencing an increased demand for facilities. Whilst this is a great outcome for our community health & wellbeing, there is obviously a finite amount of space available within the City of Boroondara.
Netball is the highest participation team sport for females in Boroondara, Victoria and Australia. Yet there is only one outdoor netball facility, taking up the space of one football oval, in the City of Boroondara. There are another 60 ovals in the municipality which cater for other sports such as football & cricket.
The addition of another 4 netball courts at the Boroondara Netball Centre would increase netball's footprint by the equivalent space of 1/2 an oval, leaving 59.5 ovals for other outdoor sporting codes.
(As you have read in other sections on this website, for a Netball Association providing pathways the 12 courts need to be at the one location, not at satellite sites which may be suitable for social competitions.)
This current inequality in the distribution of our open space is a challenge which Council needs to urgently address.