MORE SHADE TO PROTECT THE COMMUNITY FROM SKIN CANCER

More of the community will be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government installing more sunshades in public areas and sports clubs.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the three community organisations who will receive a share in almost $1 million from the fourth round of the Community Shade Grants Program.

The grants are available for community groups to construct new shade structures, purchase portable shade, plant natural shade, repair an existing shade, purchase sun protective items or any combination of the five.

North East Support and Action for Youth will receive $524 for sun protection items.

Wangaratta and District Cricket Association will receive $700 for sun protection items.

Beechworth Kindergarten Inc will receive $8500 towards a permanent shade structure.

When used alongside other sun protection measures such as sunscreen and clothing, shade structures are the best defence and can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent.

Through this program the Labor Government is supporting locals to keep active and enjoy the outdoors, while also helping them to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the age of 70.

In 2017, 270 Victorians died from melanoma and almost 3,000 people were diagnosed with invasive melanomas – making it the fourth most common cancer across the state. The five-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with invasive melanoma was at 90 per cent in 2013-16.

The Labor Government has provided a $10 million boost for the program in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 -paving the way for more schools and community groups to install shade over the next four years.

This initiative is part of the Labor Government’s election commitment to provide $15.1 million over four years in SunSmart programs.

It forms part of the Labor Government’s ambitious Victorian Cancer Plan 2016-20 which sets out a target of saving 10,000 lives from cancer over a decade.

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes MP

“We know how much Australians love the outdoors. These grants mean that locals can still enjoy parks, sports fields and playgrounds while staying SunSmart.”

“Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in Australia. That’s why this program is so important to the community.”