Grants for shade

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Two com­mu­nity groups are ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Vic­to­rian Govern­ment fund­ing to get some pro­tec­tion from harm­ful UV ra­di­a­tion by in­creas­ing shade in their out­door spa­ces.

Avenel Ac­tion Group and the Avenel Mar­ket re­ceived a com­bined grant for por­ta­ble shade worth $1200, while the Sey­mour Sharks Swim­ming Club’s $4483 grant will al­low it to also pur­chase some por­ta­ble shade.

The grants are part of the sec­ond round of the Com­mu­nity Shade Grants Pro­gram.

Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes said shade in out­door pub­lic spa­ces, when used along with other sun pro­tec­tion mea­sures in­clud­ing sun­screen and pro­tec­tive cloth­ing, formed the best defence against UV over-ex­po­sure.

‘‘Skin can­cer is a ma­jor health is­sue for Vic­to­ri­ans, yet it’s mostly pre­ventable,’’ she said.

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

Ms Symes said the Vic­to­rian Govern­ment had 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 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. In 2015, 421 Vic­to­ri­ans died from skin can­cer, which was more than the Vic­to­rian road toll that year.

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