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August 09 Edition Cover

Complaints over sport noise

02 Dec 2015

Complaints over sport noise Image

By Eva Garnes

A Docklands couple say the City of Melbourne is failing to police late night noise at the Docklands Sport Courts.

Since the courts opened in 2013, Watergate residents Graham and Rose Mercer have lodged several noise complaints with the council.  However, they say the council has failed to address their concerns.

The last time the Mercers contacted the council with noise complaints was on November 2.

Their complaint related to a large group of children and grown-ups using the courts at 10.30pm, half an hour after the council’s set closing time.

This is not the first time Mr and Mrs Mercer have lodged noise complaints against late-night use of the sports courts.

“We shouldn’t have to do the council’s job of enforcing the rules they have put on the use of the courts,” Mr Mercer explained. “We were not informed about the construction of the courts and now the council needs to do the right thing and ensure that residents are not bothered at night by their use.”

The couple say they have been awoken several times after midnight by groups of people playing sports. “The backboards of the basketball nets were finally changed recently and when there is only one person playing it is not that bad. But when a group of people start playing a game after midnight, it gets too loud for us to sleep,” they both agreed.

Mr Mercer continued: “There are signs that the council has hung up around the court, but they are easy to miss. And every time we lodge a complaint we either get sent to a new person or we hear nothing back.”
Watergate’s building manager Marshall Delves said that no other residents had contacted him directly with complaints about the sport courts. “We try to accommodate the residents as much as possible, but unfortunately this is not under the control of the building management or the owners’ corporation, but a matter between the residents and the council,”
he said.

When contacted about the complaints, a council spokesperson said: “The City of Melbourne has installed signage at the Docklands Sports Courts advising that the courts are closed from 10pm to 6am.”
“We ask users to respect the amenity of local residents and refrain from using the courts at these times. We are also aware that Docklands is growing and more people are moving through the area during both the day and night.”

“This may result in increased noise, which in some cases is not related to inappropriate use of the courts. We advise residents who are concerned about noise levels in the area to contact Victoria Police, rather than investigate the matter themselves.”

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