Shipping containers an option for changerooms

They have been transformed into homes, shops, hotels and offices. Their selling point is their low cost and ability to be transported. The shipping container could soon make its way onto sporting grounds across Latrobe Valley, with a Latrobe City Council goal to provide more female changing facilities.

Councillors voted to establish a committee at last week’s ordinary meeting that would explore a low-cost, medium-term solution acknowledging the region’s lack of adequate facilities for female athletes.

Cr Sharon Gibson put forward the motion, with Cr Graeme Middlemiss suggesting shipping containers as a viable option.

“The problem is with the explosion of mixed-sex sports usage across Latrobe, we won’t be able to meet all the requirements for change room facilities in the next 10 years,” Cr Middlemiss told the public gallery.

“(We need a) temporary solution… we could install at a much cheaper price until we get better infrastructure; until our budget catches up.”

The majority of councillors spoke on the motion, with Cr Gibson suggesting a certain amount of modules were rolled out each year, starting with those most in need.

“When the facilities were built, they were only built with males in mind,” Cr Gibson told The Express.

“Now it’s not the case and they (sports clubs) are finding they have no facilities for the females. There are a lot of different clubs in that same boat.

“With rate capping, the amount of money to go round is stretched a lot more, so that being the case, we have to look at what we can do to best meet the needs of the community.”

She also suggested increasing employment or training opportunities, by allowing local students or apprentices to build the selected module.

“Everybody can benefit and if that couldn’t be facilitated, then you could have apprentices getting experience, so it would be a win-win for everybody,” Cr Gibson said.

The committee will include three representatives from local community sporting groups, two sports association representatives, two council officers, three nominated councillors and a design consultant.

It will explore cost-effective options with the hope to submit a final design for council’s consideration by March.