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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3253 ..


Health—skin cancer

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.00): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) Australia has the unfortunate title of being a world leader in skin cancer rates;

(b) skin cancer is one of the most easily preventable types of cancer—avoided through awareness and practice of sun safety behaviours;

(c) government, medical and scientific bodies and other organisations are very effective in conveying sun smart messages, particularly for children;

(d) research carried out in the summer of 2019 assessed parental and primary caregiver’s attitudes towards sun safe hat and sunscreen use at a major children’s playground in the ACT. Findings identified that:

(i) nearly one-third of caregivers were not wearing sunscreen;

(ii) nearly three-quarters were not wearing a sun safe hat for their entire period of time at the playground;

(iii) over 80 percent believe it is important to model sun smart behaviours; and

(iv) 93 percent stated a desire for government supported sun safety messaging at playgrounds to reinforce and support good sun safety practices by parents/adults and the child/children in their care;

(e) there is significant room for improvement in the use of sun safe hats and sunscreen for adults in ACT playgrounds; and

(f) improved sun smart messaging would provide a public health benefit for dermatology and skin cancer prevention strategies; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to explore opportunities to convey sun smart/sun safety messaging—for parents and caregivers as well as children—in ACT playgrounds through:

(a) murals painted by local artists; and/or

(b) posters and other forms of signage.

Australia is world renowned for our outdoor lifestyle, sporting activities and sun-drenched summers. Exposure to sunshine and vitamin D has many positive outcomes for our mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, however, there are many disadvantages if we do not practise sun-safe behaviours and activity. Australia, together with New Zealand, leads the world in skin cancer rates, despite it being one of the most easily preventable forms of cancer.

Many of us in the Assembly will have grown up in the 1980s with the Cancer Council’s Slip, Slop, Slap sun-safety messaging. Today it has been further extended to become Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide. Slip on sun protective clothing, slop on SPV30+ sunscreen, slap on a hat, one that protects your face, head, neck and ears,


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