More basketball courts are urgently needed in Whittlesea and Hume, according to a new report from Basketball Victoria.
The report, which was launched last week, revealed the municipalities were among 12 areas in Victoria most in need of more basketball courts.
The report aimed to identify priority locations for basketball facilities and provided information to help organisations develop business cases for new courts.
It found that Whittlesea has one of the biggest shortfalls in basketball infrastructure, despite a significant increase in players in the past five years.
It stated there was an “urgent and immediate” need for four extra courts in Whittlesea.
The municipality is serviced by three basketball associations – Whittlesea City, Kinglake and Whittlesea Junior – all of which have experienced membership growth of at least 20 per cent since 2011.
Whittlesea is home to nine basketball courts, and the association also uses two courts outside of the municipality.
Basketball Victoria has called on Whittlesea council to proceed with plans for four courts at Mernda, and a further 12 courts at Epping North and Wollert by 2031.
Whittlesea mayor Kris Pavlidis said the council agreed there was a need for more courts in the region.
“In our 2014 indoor sport stadium feasibility study, council identified a current shortage of one to seven courts,” she said. “There are currently plans for courts to be included in the Mernda Aquatic and Indoor Sports Centre which we anticipate will be open in approximately five years.
“Following that, we plan to build extra courts in the west of the municipality, including in Epping North and Wollert.”
The report found that Hume needed two additional courts in the Craigieburn region and for one of its three main stadiums to be upgraded to a regional centre.
The municipality is home to three associations – Broadmeadows, Craigieburn and Sunbury – which play across 27 courts.
Hume corporate service director Daryl Whitfort said the council was developing an indoor sports plan for planning and timing of infrastructure.
He said basketball was one of 13 indoor sports being reviewed and the recommendations of Basketball Victoria’s report would be considered as part of the review.
The council’s indoor sports plan is expected to be released in mid-2018.