Sports stadium Waterloo

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
The Busselton Football Club is not happy they cannot use portable female changerooms and women’s teams must share ablution facilities with the men on game days.
Camera IconThe Busselton Football Club is not happy they cannot use portable female changerooms and women’s teams must share ablution facilities with the men on game days. Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

The Busselton Football Club is “frustrated” with the City of Busselton regarding poor public toilet facilities with female players forced to share male changerooms and several years before the club is redeveloped.

Busselton Football Club president Michael Osborn said men and women were sharing ablution facilities with no time frame for when the situation would be rectified.

“We’ve got youth girls and senior women’s sides. We have seven sides that are trying to use one set of change rooms,” he said. “Men and women have to share ablution facilities and there is no time frame on when this will be addressed.

“We’ve earmarked for a redevelopment in the 10-year plan but it’s years before that will happen and we have matches every week where the set of public toilets on the other side of the ground have been locked up so you’ve got one set of public toilets when there is 1000 people at games.”

The Times understands women from the Donnybrook Football Club made a complaint after its first ever women’s match against Busselton in round one.

$12.5 million will be spent on redeveloping Bovell Park as part of the City of Busselton’s 10-year Sport and Recreation Facilities Strategy which was endorsed by the council in May.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said redeveloping Bovell Park was a priority with a multi-sports talent hub and multiple unisex change rooms that align with the AFL’s preferred facility guidelines. However, he conceded the current female change rooms did not have running water and did not meet the AFL’s guidelines.

“These are in the planning and in the meantime the women can use the showers in the main change rooms as the games do not coincide,” he said.

“It should also be noted that in 2018 the Busselton and Sportsman’s Football Club Inc. received $35,000 through the City of Busselton Community Bids specifically for women’s change rooms. This was topped up by an additional $35k in the 2018-19 City budget along with $13,685 from the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.”

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said female change rooms had been a priority for over two years with the City’s response “inadequate”.

“The fact that female players have no option but to share the current ablution facilities with male players is concerning in the interests of safety of club members and visiting teams,” she said.

“The BFSC is one of the community’s most valued family sporting clubs and it is fantastic to see the growth in women’s AFL over the past few years,” she said.

“The club have a duty of care to manage the integration of women’s and men’s teams which needs to be prioritised by the City of Busselton.”

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