Home Australia ‘Moldy sheep shed’ used as netball changing room closed by council for health reasons

‘Moldy sheep shed’ used as netball changing room closed by council for health reasons

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A photo showing black marks and mold on the wall.

A netball facility in central Victoria, described as a “mouldy sheep shed”, has been closed by council after an air quality assessment.

Kyneton Football Netball Club has complained several times over the past year to Macedon Ranges Shire Council about recurring mould.

The council painted over the mold and installed fans before hiring a professional to determine whether the Kyneton Showgrounds facility was safe.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council asset and operations director Shane Walden said an air quality assessment and hygienist report was carried out before the council decided to close the facility on Wednesday.

Rats and mold have appeared on the walls of the Kyneton netball dressing room.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

“The City Council closed the locker rooms as a precautionary measure,” he said.

“Player and community safety is a priority for the council and we have acted quickly to close the facility and explore alternative options.”

The ABC requested the results of the air quality evaluation and the hygienist’s report, which the city council refused.

He also declined to explain what the report said about air quality at the facility.

A photo of a netball hoop hanging in a sheep shed.

The sheep pavilion has been used by both the Kyneton Agricultural Society and the Kyneton Football Netball Club for years.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

Concern that mold may have caused health problems

Netball players have been changing in the sheep pavilion for about 10 years.

The ABC understands that some players have expressed concerns about the impact of mold exposure on their health.

a photo of a girl coming out of a locker room with basketballs

Ms. Savoia was advised to wear an N95 mask when removing equipment from the locker room.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

Kyneton Football Netball Club director of netball Loryn Savoia said she was relieved to hear the facility would be closed.

“It has been created as a dual-purpose site. It is primarily a sheep pavilion that has been fitted out for our use,” he said.

“It’s certainly not fit for purpose.

“I am relieved that action has been taken and we now hope that they will provide us with proper facilities.”

a photo of a girl dunking basketballs in a shed outside

Savoia said netball players had complained several times about mold in their locker room.(ABC Central Victoria: Shannon Schubert)

State audit of netball facilities underway

Across the state there are several football and netball clubs with average or no netball changing rooms.

Netball Victoria has initiated a new monitoring and auditing system, with a state-wide audit of community facilities underway and expected to be complete by mid-2024.

A statewide facilities strategy will be published at the end of the year.

In good news for the club, Macedon Ranges Shire Council will install a temporary changing room for Kyneton netball players next month, ahead of a planned refurbishment.

“We are very happy. The girls are now arriving somewhere safe and warm as the new project progresses,” said Kyneton Football Netball Club president Hayden Evans.

“The girls will take place somewhere in mid to late May.”

Meanwhile, netball players will need to change at the youth football facility located on the second oval of the showground, 600 meters from the netball court.

A planned redevelopment of Kyneton Showgrounds includes new netball courts and new netball changing rooms.

The club said it expected improvement works to begin later this year.

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