More people in Dandenong will be protected from the sun’s rays, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government installing more sunshades and trees in community spaces and sports clubs across Victoria.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced that St Mary’s Cricket Club in Dandenong is one of 323 community organisations who will share in $2 million from the third round of the Community Shade Grant Program.

Young cricketers will get the shade they need to stay safe in the sun with $2,739 to install a new shaded area for players and spectators.

When used alongside other sun protection measures like sunscreen and protective clothing, shade structures are the best defence against dangerous UV radiation.

Through the Community Shade Grant Program, which assists organisations to purchase and install shade sails or plant shady trees, 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 on a key election commitment, the Labor Government has invested $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 2016, 256 Victorians died from melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

The Community Shade Grant Program is complemented by the School Shade Grant Program, which provides grants for shade in Victorian Government schools. Together, these programs have awarded more than 1,000 grants across Victoria.

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