Community groups in Dandenong have shared in over $9,600 to get some much needed protection from harmful UV radiation by increasing shade in public community places.
Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced the recipients of grants from the second round of the Andrews Labor Government’s Community Shade Grants Program.
Dandenong City Soccer Club and the Dandenong Agricultural and Pastoral Society will both receive funding to improve shade in outdoor public spaces when they respectively host soccer matches and community events.
When used along with other sun protection measures including sunscreen and protective clothing, shade forms the best defence against UV over-exposure.
Ms Williams said the Government is supporting people in Dandenong to be sun smart and prevent skin cancer, while also embracing the outdoors and enjoying a more active and healthy lifestyle.
The Andrews Labor Government has committed $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.
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.
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.