More Shade To Protect Victorians From UV Radiation

The Andrews Labor Government is installing more shade and trees in community spaces to protect Victorians from harmful UV radiation.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced 228 recipients that will share in $1.78 million from the second round of the Community Shade Grant Program.

Shade in outdoor public spaces, when used alongside other sun protection measures including sunscreen and protective clothing, is the best defence against UV over-exposure.

The Community Shade Grant Program funds shade development, including building or repairing permanent shade structures, purchasing portable shade equipment or creating natural shade by planting trees.

Through this initiative, the Labor Government is helping Victorians to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while also embracing the outdoors and enjoying a more active and healthy lifestyle.

In delivering its election commitment, the Labor Government is investing $15 million for skin cancer prevention initiatives, including $5 million for SunSmart campaigns and $10 million in grants for shade in public places and government schools.

Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the age of 70.

It’s estimated that 40,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Victoria every year. In 2015, 421 Victorians died from skin cancer – more than 1.5 times the Victorian road toll that year.

The Community Shade Grant Program is complemented by the School Shade Grant Program, which provides grants for shade in Victorian Government schools. So far, these programs have awarded 691 grants, totalling $6.8 million in funding with two more rounds still to come.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent, yet largely preventable cancers affecting Victorians – that’s why it’s so important to be sun smart.”

“Spending time outdoors is a great way to stay healthy and active but we need to make sure there is shade available to protect people from harmful UV rays.”

“With nearly $7 million already delivered, our shade grants are making a real difference to local communities right across the state.”