More shade to protect Ballarat from skin cancer
More of the Ballarat community will be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays, thanks to the Andrews Government installing more sunshades in public areas and sports clubs.
Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, today visited Victoria Bowling Club to announce four community organisations in Ballarat 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 structure, purchase sun protective items or any combination of the five.
Victoria Bowling Club will receive $9,499 to install permanent shade and to purchase sun protective items to ensure participants and spectators are protected during the summer months.
In addition, Ballarat YMCA will receive $4,857 for portable shade and sun protective items, Centacare will receive $6,900 for permanent shade structures and Mount Clear Cricket Club will receive $4,066 for portable shade and sun protective items.
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.
Ms Addison said the Community Shade Grants Program is supporting locals to keep active and enjoy the outdoors, while also helping them to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer.
“We know how much Australians love the outdoors. These grants mean that locals can still enjoy Ballarat’s great facilities while staying SunSmart,”Ms Addison said.
“Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in Australia. That’s why this program is so important to the Ballarat community,” she said.
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.
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.