Cancer Council Victoria has welcomed today's $15 million commitment from the Labor Party that would fund new initiatives under the iconic and world-renowned SunSmart program.
Today, Opposition Leader Dan Andrews announced that if elected a Labor government would spend $15 million over four years to ensure Victoria continues to lead the world in ultraviolet radiation (UV) protection. Of that, $10 million will go towards improving shade protection in public areas like playgrounds, beaches and parks, and $5 million will be invested to support successful SunSmart campaigns.
Helping people cut their cancer risk was one of the election priorities that Cancer Council Victoria identified in July. Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said SunSmart had a proven track record having prevented more than 103,000 skin cancers in Victoria between 1988 and 2003, and thus saving 1000 lives.
“In a given week more than 780 Victorians will be diagnosed with a new skin cancer, and eight will die. Australia still has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, but this is also one of the most preventable cancers,” Mr Harper said.
“The good news is that you can reduce risk of skin cancer at any age, whether you are 16 or 60, with good sun protection behaviours.”
SunSmart is also one of the most cost effective prevention programs, with every dollar spent on the program resulting in a $3.60 saving to the Victorian public health system.
“SunSmart saves lives, and it saves us all money,” he said.