On Saturday 15 March 2014, the Victorian Government announced that the Kingston City Council will be the first council invited to apply for a grant under the new Shade Grant project.
The Shade Grant project will provide $4 million in grants to councils across Victoria to improve shade provision in public places where people spend time outdoors.
SunSmart Manager, Sue Heward, said that the funding is incredibly important given the extreme ultraviolet (UV) levels and hot temperatures we experience across Victoria between September and April.
"Well-designed and positioned shade can significantly reduce UV and heat exposure as well as creating cool, comfortable spaces for physical and recreational activities. Shade alone as a sun protection measure, can reduce overall exposure to UV by about 75%."
"We know that local communities expect shade to be provided in public open spaces and that councils are always looking for resource options to provide this service, so it's great to see the Victorian Government prioritising shade as one of the essential elements in the fight against skin cancer. SunSmart will work closely with the State Government, the Municipal Association of Victoria and local councils to assist in the implementation of this project over the next four years," said Ms Heward.
The Shade Grants program will be rolled out in stages until 2017. Local councils will be invited to apply for a grant of up to $100,000, to improve the availability of shade in public places such as parks, playgrounds and sports clubs.
SunSmart provides a range of information and resources about planning for shade. The SunSmart shade audit tool provides a step-by-step guide to assessing shade needs and planning and developing new shade. For more information, visit sunsmart.com.au.