Condom Vending Machine Pilot Project Underway

Published on 01 May 2017

Media Release

Baw Baw Shire Council, in partnership with Gippsland Women's Health, is taking steps to better protect the community’s sexual and reproductive health by installing six condom vending machines in accessible toilets across the Shire.

Condom vending machines will be available for a trial period of 12 months in the following locations:

  • Drouin Memorial Park Toilet Block, Princes Way, Drouin
  • Longwarry Memorial Park Toilet Block, Bennett Street, Longwarry
  • Craig Watts Skate Park Toilet Block, 175 Main Neerim Road, Neerim South
  • Allan Croxford Reserve Toilet Block, Tyers-Walhalla Road, Rawson
  • Depot Lane Toilet Block, Depot Lane, Trafalgar
  • Burke Street Park Toilet Block, Burke Street, Warragul

The decision to go ahead with implementing this project was made by Council in August 2016, following a round of close community consultation which yielded supportive and positive feedback from a diverse range of community members.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Councillor Joe Gauci said the installation of easily accessible condom vending machines will provide the community, particularly young people, with better support and more options to access a product that helps protect sexual and reproductive health.

“Young people in Baw Baw are at risk of poor health outcomes in relation to sexual and reproductive health, and this pilot project is taking steps towards supporting a healthier community”, said the Mayor.

“Alarming statistics from the Victorian Child and Adolescent Monitoring System identify the rate of sexually transmissible infections (STI’s) amongst young people in Baw Baw Shire is nearly double the Victorian average.

Additional research from the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health shows that encouraging safer sexual practices, including the use of condoms, is the most successful public health strategy in Australia to prevent transmission of STI’s.

“People in regional areas face a number of major barriers to accessing condoms; including limited public transport; low density and limited operating hours of retail outlets; lower access to health services and particularly the stigma associated with purchasing condoms where ‘everyone knows everyone”, said the Mayor.

“By supporting this project we hope to improve the state of sexual and reproductive health in our Shire, especially in young people, and reduce the spread STI’s and the number of unplanned and teenage pregnancies.”

Condoms will cost $2 for a pack of two, with all revenue from condom sales used to stock the machines.

Roll out of condom vending machine installation will take place throughout May 2017 and is being funded by Gippsland Women’s Health through grants received by Department of Health and Human Services.

Following the 12 month trial, Council and Gippsland Women's Health will collate usage data and undergo a feasibility assessment of the project.