More communities will be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays thanks to the sixth round of Community Shade grants released by the Andrews Labor Government to install shade in public areas such as sports clubs, parks and playgrounds.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing MP today announced that six community organisations across the Baw Baw and Latrobe City LGAs will share in over $1.3 million of funding from the latest round of the Community Shade Grants program.

The Shade Grants Program is part of the Labor Government’s skin cancer prevention election commitment to provide $15.1 million over four years in skin cancer prevention initiatives.

The program provides grants to build new shade structures, repair existing structures, or create natural shade by planting trees. Funding is also provided to purchase sun protective items including hats and sunscreen.

Recipients include Moe Amateur Swimming Club, who will be receiving $679.00 for a portable shade structure, and Trafalgar Holden Museum Inc, who will be receiving $37,660.00 to go towards the construction of a permanent shade structure. In total, $68,795.45 will be awarded to organisations in the Baw Baw and Latrobe City LGAs.

Good quality shade can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent, and offers the best protection against harmful UV radiation when used in combination with other sun protective measures such as clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Through this program the Government is supporting [insert electorate] to keep active and enjoy the outdoors, while also helping them to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer.

In 2019, melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria with 2,841 new cases and sadly 270 deaths. The five-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with melanoma was 92 per cent in 2014-2018, compared to 69 percent for all cancers.

The Community Shade Grants Program is complemented by the School Shade Grants Program, which provides shade for Victorian Government schools. In 2021, these programs have awarded 354 grants across Victoria totalling $2.75 million in funding.

So far, these programs have awarded 1988 grants totalling more than $17.5 million in funding across Victoria. Round seven of the Shade Grants Program will open in mid-2022.

It forms part of the Government’s ambitious Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24 which sets out a target to halve the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040.

Quotes attributable to Member for Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“We know how much Australians love the outdoors. These grants mean that communities in West Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley can still enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle while having the necessary shade to protect them from the sun.”

“Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in Australia. That’s why this program is so important to ensure Victorian communities are protected from harmful UV rays which could contribute to skin cancer.”

“Our grants programs have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer and stay SunSmart.”

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