Shade Grants | Adjournment & Response

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, the Honourable Jenny Mikakos. My question relates to the minister’s portfolio responsibilities relating to health. Skin cancer is a significant health and economic burden in Victoria. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer yet remains highly prevalent, with two in three Australians diagnosed by the age of 70. The provision of well-planned and designed shade as a sun protection measure can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation. Shade used in combination with other sun protection measures, including protective clothing, broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses and SPF30+ or higher sunscreen, provides the best protection from harmful UV radiation exposure when spending time outdoors. The Andrews Labor government is committed to delivering on the election commitment to provide $15.1 million in funding for shade grants and community education campaigns over 2019–23. The shade grants program provides funding for new permanent shade, natural shade, portable shade and sun protection items. The aim of the program is to reduce Victorians’ exposure to UV radiation by increasing shade in public places across the state and by promoting the uptake of sun protective practices. Grants provide up to $25,000 for shade development in schools and $50,000 for community groups and can include up to $700 for sun protection items excluding GST. The action I seek is for the minister to provide an update to my office on what schools and community groups in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region need to do in order to apply for these grants.


Ms MIKAKOS (Northern Metropolitan—Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services) (12 November 2019): I am informed that: The Andrews 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. After delivering on a key election commitment over the first term to deliver $15 million in skin cancer prevention initiatives, the Andrews Labor Government has committed a further $15.1 million to SunSmart programs—including a dedicated $10 million in grants for shade in public places and government schools. The Shade Grants Program provides grants to Victorian government schools and community organisations for shade development in public spaces and sun protection items, including hats and sunscreen. All Victorian Government schools are eligible to apply for a School Shade Grant. This includes government primary, secondary, P–12, special and language schools. Incorporated community organisations in Victoria may apply for a Community Shade Grant. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to, community groups, sports clubs, scouts and guide groups, local councils, kindergartens and early childhood education and care services. The program guidelines and application guides provide information about each program and how to complete an application online. They are available on the Shade Grants Program page via Applications for the School Shade Grants Program Round 4 close on 18 September 2019. Applications for the Community Shade Grants Program Round 4 close on 2 October 2019. I thank the member for her interest in her community being sun smart