• Public spaces, sports and recreation

Stan Bisset Rugby Union Pavilion

Published 5 May 2022
A new inclusive and accessible sports pavilion at Albert Park

The contents of this page have been archived. This represents Council’s advocacy position prior to the 2022 State and Federal elections.

For updated information on any of these projects, please contact Council.

Constructing an inclusive and accessible sports pavilion at Albert Park to improve existing facilities and attract new membership.

What is the ask?

Council is requesting the Victorian Government to commit to developing the Stan Bisset Rugby Union Pavilion at Albert Park, including gender equitable change facilities for all teams, all-gender showers and toilets, social area, kitchen and canteen, referees’ change room facilities, first aid room, multipurpose room, accessible toilet, viewing area, multi-purpose space and storage areas. The project is estimated to cost $2.2 million to deliver.

What is the issue this initiative will address?

There is no pavilion available for Rugby Union at Albert Park and there is a desperate need for change rooms and toilets for players and spectators. This is required to develop the sport, increase participation by people of all genders, improve user experience and to grow the game. There is no access to water to fill water bottles, no toilets for spectators and no shelter for this winter sport for parents and children. This project will address the lack of sports infrastructure and provide modern all-gender facilities while increasing player numbers and economic sustainability of the Power House Rugby Union Club with modern facilities.

Currently there is no ability to set up anything other than a basic BBQ on game day on the rugby fields. The construction of the pavilion will provide a full kitchen to offer a range of hot and cold, quality, nutritious foods before, during and after games. The capacity to supply food can generate more than $5,000 on game day for clubs, which amounts to $50,000 over the season. This income substantially increases the future viability and ability of the Rugby Club to provide additional coaches, sports equipment and training for volunteers and to implement new options for playing rugby, particularly for women and younger players.

What is Council proposing?

Construction of an inclusive and accessible sports pavilion at Albert Park, including change rooms for four teams, all-gender showers and toilets, social area, kitchen and canteen, referees’ change room facilities, first aid room, multipurpose room, accessible toilet, viewing area, multi-purpose space and storage areas.

The project will:

  • attract additional sporting participation within rugby such as for the Victorian Rugby Referees Association (VRRA), which would use it for training on a weekly basis and also have monthly meetings due to its central location
  • attract complimentary sports outside rugby such as Gaelic Football, Frisbee and Touch Sevens, as these lesser-known sports often struggle to find suitable facilities to train and play
  • improve player and spectator participation, diversity and inclusion through the construction of the pavilion
  • double the participation of women from one to two teams and attract 50 per cent more younger players. The club currently has two female players who represent Australia and women who represent the State Super W Rebels team.

Sports participation within the City of Port Phillip would increase through:

  • being more inclusive of the Wheelchair Rugby team, as currently there are no accessible facilities for wheelchair users
  • more inclusion of women participating, with the provision of private, gender equitable facilities meaning women don’t have to get changed on the sidelines
  • junior participation increasing with the pavilion providing a private safe space
  • Seventy per cent of the club’s members are from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, particularly from lower socio-economic Pacific Islander communities
  • community and family are important for many members, and as there is no pavilion currently it is difficult to create an atmosphere to welcome and host families and children
  • many older members are unable to join as spectators on game day because the lack of toilet facilities deters attendance. This excludes them and increases their isolation from the sport and their community.

How does this initiative align with the Council Plan and Victorian Government priorities?


Council Plan 2021-31:   Inclusive Port Phillip - a City that is a place for all members of our community, where people feel supported and comfortable being themselves and expressing their identities.

  • Council Plan Measure - Advocacy support to individual clubs within Albert Park that are applying for funding through third parties.
  • Partner with Parks Victoria to improve communication and engagement with Albert Park users and clubs. Parks Victoria over time to align plans for sport and recreation within Albert Park with broader municipal sport and recreation strategies.

This project is consistent with outcomes in our Sports and Recreation Strategy 2015-2024.

Victorian Government

The Stan Bisset Rugby Union Pavilion supports the following Victorian Government priorities:

  • commitment to increasing the number of women and girls participating in sport and active recreation, from grassroots through to senior leadership roles
  • Sport and Recreation Victoria’s work to inspire women and girls to participate and become leaders in sport at all levels
  • Sport and Recreation Victoria initiatives that create more participation opportunities for all Victorians, including building a more sustainable and inclusive sport and recreation sector
  • support for under-represented groups experiencing barriers to participation in sport and recreation.

How does this initiative assist the community to recover from COVID-19?

The construction of the pavilion will directly create 20-25 full time jobs (FTE) during the period of the project in 2022. It will require a range of tradespeople and fitters from concreting, painting, cabinetry, plumbing and installation of electrical, mechanical and hydraulic products and services. The flow-on benefits are a multiple of three to four times, with 60-100 additional workers required to assist with the range of trades needed to complete the construction of the project.

Significant participation and wellbeing opportunities will be created by this project, including equity for women, CALD communities and juniors. Players, spectators and volunteers will be supported to get involved and be active, create a sense of local community and to enhance their mental and physical wellbeing. The ability to be a multi-purpose venue also supports broader participation opportunities outside of sport.

The completion of the pavilion will have economic benefits in the City of Port Phillip and surrounds with the addition of this new sports infrastructure, including attracting other rugby events to be hosted at Albert Park. This includes international, national and local clubs and Schools Rugby competition in both Rugby 15’s and Rugby Sevens competitions. On a club level, it will increase the status of Albert Park with its functional capacity to become the preferred location for local rugby gala days and junior and senior finals competitions attracting hundreds of spectators.

Such a first-class facility will draw visiting international rugby teams to train at Albert Park, attracting crowds from all over Melbourne. This will highlight the City of Port Phillip as a leading player in sporting activities. Australia is bidding for the Rugby World Cup in 2027, a magnificent international spectacle and the third largest global sporting event. This would increase participation across Australia and the pavilion would be necessary to cater for the growth in local player numbers.

Cost and current status?


The total project cost is $2.2 million. This will deliver the entire project, completing the building of the Stan Bisset Rugby Union Pavilion to the standard required as a gender equitable facility. Funding of $1.1 million is required to finalise funding for the project.


Power House Rugby Union Club has an $800,000 contribution towards the project. Sport and Recreation Victoria provided a $300,000 grant to Parks Victoria for this project. The project has moved through the initial scope phase to detailed design by the builder after consultation with Sport and Recreation Victoria, Rugby Victoria, Rugby Australia and the community. Planning and approvals for the project have been obtained and the project is included in the 1994 Albert Park Masterplan. The project requires a matching $1.1 million co-contribution of funding to progress to construction phase.