Multi-million dollar works underway to transform the J.L. Murphy Reserve pavilion in Port Melbourne are a win for female sports participation.

Works recently kicked off on the $4.3 million redevelopment with the upgraded pavilion expected to be completed by April 2020. In a partnership approach, Port Phillip Council has contributed $2.8 million, the Victorian Government $1.2 million. AFL Victoria and tenant clubs will also be making a financial contribution.

The upgraded and extended pavilion will include more (unisex) change rooms, allowing access and participation for people of all genders and abilities. Once the redevelopment is completed, all current sports grounds at J.L. Murphy Reserve will be able to be used simultaneously. A more functional community room and kitchen for clubs and community members is also part of the design.

Some of the existing structure will be incorporated into the new pavilion and materials removed during demolition will be recycled whenever possible, in keeping with Council’s commitment to sustainability and recycling.

Temporary facilities, including public toilets, have been installed so the reserve can continue to be used for sport while the works are undertaken.

Mayor Dick Gross said the upgrade was needed to cater for the increasing number of members joining clubs based at the popular reserve.

“We are seeing increased participation in sport across Port Phillip, and we want this to continue. It’s so important to upgrade facilities like these to keep up with demand,” Cr Gross said.

“We have seen many girls signing up to play AFL and we’re delighted they will benefit from this redevelopment with the addition of unisex changerooms. The redevelopment also increases accessibility at the reserve, allowing every member of our community to support the clubs they love.”

Council will regularly assess the temporary facilities to ensure they cope with demand during the redevelopment.

During construction, there may be some changes to access adjacent to the construction site and on Williamstown Road. Signage will be installed to direct the community and reserve users