Media releases

Free period product program extended across the city

12 January 2023

The City of Melbourne is continuing its mission to alleviate period poverty with the extension of its free period care pilot program until 30 June 2023.

Since the launch of the trial in September 2021 more than 6,700 period care products were dispensed from vending machines across six Council-owned facilities at:

  • Library at the Dock
  • City Library
  • Carlton Baths
  • Melbourne Town Hall public toilets (on Collins Street)
  • North Melbourne Community Centre
  • Kathleen Syme Community Centre

Around 15 per cent of Victorian women and people who menstruate have been unable to afford period products at some stage in their lives, due to challenges such as poverty, homelessness, domestic violence and inflation.

The free service aims to reduce the stigma of managing periods and is available to anyone who menstruates including girls, women, and transgender and gender diverse people.

By providing pads and tampons free of charge, Council hopes to improve the health, comfort, dignity and inclusion of Melburnians.

The City of Melbourne will continue to investigate options to expand the program across additional sites, working collaboratively with the State Government to accelerate the roll out within the municipality.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“Periods are a part of life. It’s time to remove the stigma and shame that surrounds menstruation.”

“We’re doing what we can to make managing periods easier and more accessible for all Melburnian girls, women and people who menstruate.”

“By providing free access to pads and tampons at six of our libraries, recreation centres and other Council-owned facilities, we hope to reduce the social, financial and personal impacts affecting the one in five Australians who face period poverty.”

“We hope to continue to extend and expand the program – to create a greater sense of menstrual equity in Melbourne.”

Quotes attributable to Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor Dr Olivia Ball

“Over our 12-month pilot program, we provided more than 6,700 pads and tampons to Melburnians who needed them.”

“We’re pleased to be extending our Free Period Care Program and look forward to working alongside the Victorian State Government to end period poverty in Victoria.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor Jamal Hakim

“Access to period products isn’t a privilege – it’s a right.”

“We’re proud to be boosting access to essential period care items for all girls, women and people who menstruate, so that they can participate freely in our community.”

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12 January 2023

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