Edward Mandla
IN THE MEDIA
Sydney to be the first Australian city to provide free tampons in public buildings and homeless shelters

Published On: 21/07/2016
Sydney to be the first Australian city to provide free tampons in public buildings and homeless shelters

Sydney could introduce free sanitary products in public places

Items would be available in public toilets, parks, sporting facilities

The menstrual products would also be free at homeless shelters

City of Sydney councillor Edward Mandla will introduce motion on Monday Lord Mayor Clover Moore has slammed the proposition

Sydney could be the first Australian city to make free sanitary products available in public buildings for homeless women and other female members of the community.

The move, inspired by an initiative by New York City council to provide menstrual supplies to all schools, prisons and homeless shelters, is being spearheaded by City of Sydney councillor Edward Mandla.

On Monday he will introduce a motion to have the supplies available in any facilities run by the City of Sydney including public toilets, parks and sporting facilities.

'We should be doing this at a minimum, in all the bathrooms in the City of Sydney for all City of Sydney staff,' Mr Mandla told Daily Mail Australia. 'In addition I think we should provide free and easily accessible supplies in our libraries and all homeless shelters.'

He added that he'd eventually like to see menstrual products available 'anywhere controlled by council' including swimming pools and other sporting grounds.

'I've found when I've shared this idea with women everyone has a story where they've been caught out and it's the panicked SMS to a friend,' Mr Madla said.

'It ranges from that to the sort of "roll your own" approach,' he added. According to a recent US study cited in the motion: '86 per cent of women in America said they have been caught without the supplies they need in a public space.

In addition to this, '79 per cent of women said they were forced to improvise with toilet paper'.

Mr Mandla claims the City of Sydney is 'drowning in money' and the initiative would not be an expensive one. City of Sydney councillor Edward Mandla will introduce a motion on Monday +3

City of Sydney councillor Edward Mandla will introduce a motion on Monday 'We believe it would be about $7.74 per City of Sydney staff member for year. 'We're really not talking a lot of money.'

The councillor said it would be 'interesting' to see which way the vote went when he introduced the motion on Monday.

'Well it's going to be really interesting because the chamber is female dominated... so it will interesting to see how the discussion goes as to whether they accept it, amend it, or reject it,' Mr Mandla said.

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has slammed the idea, saying that 'random proposals to spend money' throw the council's budget into disarray.

'It’s insulting that the Liberal Party would try to use this pathetic proposal to say that they care about equality for women – if they really want to address equality they should fix the gender pay gap, reinstate the funding they’ve cut to childcare services, women’s refuges and domestic violence services and abolish the GST currently placed on sanitary products,' she told Daily Mail Australia

'All these would have more impact than the half-baked stunt that Cr Mandla is proposing in the lead up to the next election.'

Ms Moore said homeless services funded by the City of Sydney 'already provide toiletries for homeless women in our area'.

Sydney to be the first Australian city to provide free tampons in public buildings and homeless shelters

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