Thursday, 20 April 2017

Community groups in Gippsland have shared in $199,945.16 to get some much needed protection from harmful UV radiation by increasing shade in public community places.

Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria Region today announced the recipients of grants from the second round of the Andrews Labor Government’s Community Shade Grants Program.

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

We are supporting the people of Gippsland to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while also embracing the outdoors and enjoying a more active and healthy lifestyle.

The Labor Government has committed $15 million for skin cancer prevention initiatives, including $5 million for Sun Smart campaigns and $10 million in grants for shade in public places and government schools.

The Community Shade Grant Program provides grants for shade development, including building new shade, repairing existing shade, purchasing portable shade or creating natural shade by planting trees.

Twenty-one organisations in Gippsland will receive a grant from the second round of the Community Shade Grants Program.

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

It is estimated that 40,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Victoria every year, and in 2015, 421 Victorians died from skin cancer, over 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 to come.

Our Victorian Cancer Plan 2016-20 has set an ambitious target of saving 10,000 lives from cancer in the next 10 years.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“Skin cancer is a major health issue for Victorians, yet it’s mostly preventable. That’s why the people of Gippsland need to be sun smart.”

“Spending time outdoors is part of a healthy lifestyle, and it is important shade is easily available where people come together.”

“With nearly $7 million already delivered, our shade grants are making a real difference to the Gippsland community and supporting the fight against skin cancer.”