Boosting women’s facilities at Mars Stadium

Ballarat may soon be home to elite AFLW games, with work to begin shortly to redevelop competition-level female friendly change facilities at Mars Stadium.

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison and Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle joined City of Ballarat Councillor Samantha McIntosh today to announce the awarding of a contract to local Ballarat firm CIQ Construction Management to build the female changerooms.

The $600,000 works are part of the Victorian Government’s $6.6 million investment at Mars Stadium as part of Stage 2 facility upgrades.

The $6.6 million stage is fully funded by the Government and also includes upgrading the venue entrance, providing additional toilets, improving accessibility, creating new standing areas and developing permanent food and beverage areas.

Construction on the changeroom upgrades is scheduled to start within weeks and be completed by December 2020, in time for the AFLW 2021 premiership season.

The Western Bulldogs has a strong presence in Ballarat and have played five AFL games at Mars Stadium since 2017 and will look to cement their place in the Ballarat community in 2021.

The construction of the female changerooms will generate five jobs and more than 90 per cent of the materials used will be locally sourced, providing a wider economic boost to the region.

Since 2014, the Government has committed $38.5 million to the broader Eureka Sports Precinct to ensure the people of Ballarat have access to high quality, modern and accessible facilities that they can utilise and that can be used to host regional, state, national and international events.

The Government acknowledged the City of Ballarat for its commitment to developing top class facilities in the precinct.

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Julianna Addison

“Ballarat is a mecca for sport in regional Victoria and with this important upgrade locals will hopefully get the chance to see the Western Bulldogs women’s team in full flight and grow the sport at a grassroots level.”

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“Mars Stadium has already transformed the Ballarat landscape by creating a world-class venue to watch elite and grassroots sport – with this upgrade fully funded by the Victorian Government, we’re giving our female sporting champions a boost they deserve.”

Quote attributable to Office for Women in Sport and Recreation director Bridie O’Donnell

“Providing elite female athletes with top facilities is essential in creating a broader and more inclusive sporting landscape, and the benefits flow through to community ranks as girls are inspired by these great role models.”

Quote attributable to City of Ballarat Cr Samantha McIntosh

“I am so delighted that finally work is underway so that our female sports players will have appropriate changing facilities here at Mars Stadium.”

“The City of Ballarat is committed to updating our sports infrastructure so women and girls can enjoy suitable changing facilities. These changes are long overdue and I look forward to seeing similar projects get underway at other sports grounds throughout Ballarat.”

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