Shade grant funding now available to be Sun Smart

The Member for Melton, Don Nardella MLA is urging  local organisations  to  apply  for  the  second round of the Community Shade Grants Program to help provide shade in public areas around their community.

The  Andrews  Labor  Government  has  provided  $10  million  for  shade  development  in  public  places  to  provide some much needed shade in areas such as sports clubs, parks and playgrounds and schools.

Eligible  community  organisations  including  sports  clubs,  local councils  and  not-for-profit  community  groups  can apply  for  Community  Shade  Grants  of  up  to  $50,000  from  a  pool  of $1.9  million  to  construct  a  new  shade, purchase a portable shade, plant some natural shade, repair an existing shade, or any combination of the four.

In addition, grants may be used to purchase hats and sunscreen, to further support community groups to be sun smart. The  Community  Shade  Grant  Program  is  complemented  by  the  School  Shade Grant  Program,  which  provides grants for shade to Victorian Government schools.

Skin cancer is a largely preventable disease, however with an estimated 40,000 new cases diagnosed each year in Victoria alone, there is more to do.

Melanoma  is  the  most  deadly  type  of  skin  cancer  and  in  2014  in  Victoria,  279  people  died  of  melanoma  with 2,466  new  cases  diagnosed.  In  the  same  year,  melanoma  was  the  fifth  most  commonly  diagnosed  cancer  in Victorians. Shade as a sun protection measure alone can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75 per cent, and this  is  strengthened  when  used  in  combination  with  other  sun  protection  strategies  such  as  sunscreen,  hats, sunglasses and protective clothing.

The  Labor  Government  has  provided  $15  million  over  four  years  for  skin  cancer  prevention  initiatives,  including $10  million  for  shade  development  in  schools  and  community  settings  and  $5  million  for  SunSmart  public education campaigns. The recently released Victorian cancer plan 2016 -2020 aims to reduce preventable cancers, including skin cancer, with a long term target of halving the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040.

Applications for the second round of the Community Shade Grants Program close on 29 September 2016 with grants to be awarded in early 2017.  To apply, visit

Mr Nardella said:

We  all  love  spending  time  outdoors–  but  it  is  important  we  are  protecting  ourselves  from  the  sun, especially between September to April when UV levels are high. I  would  encourage  all  eligible  local community  organisations to  apply  for  funding  and  help more people be sun smart.

These grants will provide more shaded areas so families can enjoy their time outdoors while being protected from the sun.