Several sports clubs in the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley have received a share in $1.3 million from a state government shade funding initiative.
The money will go towards building or repairing shade structures and creating natural shade by planting trees. The money can also be used for buying sun protective items including hats and sunscreen.
Monbulk MP James Merlino said the state government knows how much Australian’s love the outdoors.
“These grants mean that the Monbulk community can still enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle while having the necessary shade to protect them from the sun,” Mr Merlino said.
“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.”
Successful local applicants in the Yarra Ranges and Dandenongs include the Olinda Cricket Club, Upwey Tecoma Cricket Club, Woori Yallock Cricket Club, Lilydale Bowling Club, Monbulk Bowling Club, Mount Evelyn Football Netball, Kilsyth Cricket Club and Montrose Cricket Club.
“Our grants programs have helped hundreds of schools and community groups provide the protection Victorians need to prevent cancer and stay SunSmart.” Mr Merlino said.
The inititative contributes to a government’s election commitment to provide $15.1 million over four years in skin cancer prevention initiatives.
In 2019 melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in Victoria with 2,841 new cases and 270 deaths.
The program is complemented by the school shades grant program which provides funding for government schools. In 2021 the two programs have awarded 354 grants across Victoria totalling $2.75 million in funding.
The Victorian state government is aiming to halve the Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040.