Friday, March 1, 2024

Lord Mayor throws shade on city playgrounds

Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, has named the first 41 playgrounds set to be retrofitted with shade covers under Council’s new Sun Safe Suburban Playgrounds program.

Lord Mayor Schrinner said the $10 million three-year program to ensure every playground in Brisbane has shade will help protect parents, carers and children and potentially save lives.

“Brisbane has an enviable lifestyle as well as a network of more than 2000 fantastic parks that make for great free fun for families,” he said.

“However, we also live in a state that’s known as one of the world’s skin cancer capitals.

“While we incorporate shade in all our new playgrounds when required, there are unfortunately some that still need to be retrofitted with some form of cover.”

Under the Sun Safe Suburban Playgrounds program, Council will identify playgrounds that need cover and ensure they receive it over the next three years.

“This program is in addition to our ongoing investment in new and improved parks and playgrounds throughout Brisbane suburbs,” the Lord Mayor said.

Cancer Council Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Donne, said the Council’s playgrounds program was a great step toward reducing skin damage and risk of skin cancer for Brisbane kids.

“It is well known that Australia has the highest rate of melanoma in the world, and without sun protection skin damage can occur in as little as 15 minutes,” Mr Donne said.

“What I must convey however, is that skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.

“I applaud the Lord Mayor as he creates more shady recreational spaces for Brisbane kids.

“You can do your part as well to improve your sun safety, and slip on protective clothing, slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen, slap on a broad-brimmed hat, seek shade and slide on wraparound sunglasses,” Mr Donne said.

Council had engaged three local suppliers and manufacturers to make and install shade sails at the first package of playgrounds funded under the playgrounds program.

Shade sails will also be installed over a further nine playgrounds this financial year.

“The first installations under the Sun Safe Suburban Playgrounds program will kick off in the new year at playgrounds in Alderley, Durack, Heathwood, and Runcorn,” Lord Mayor Schrinner said.

“Many parents of young children like me would know only too well that playgrounds without shade are off limits for large parts of the day, particularly during Brisbane’s hotter months.

“Our program will be pivotal to ensuring that when the sun is up our parks are cooler for everyone.

“Brisbane is the best place in the world to live and programs like this are helping to make it even better.”

The Lord Mayor said the accelerated program would ensure every single playground would have shade cover within a few years.

“We estimate around 150 playgrounds will be upgraded with shade under this program,” he said.

“On average we currently add new shade to around 10 playgrounds a year. This new program will boost that to about 50 a year.

“Where possible, we will also look at investing in planting of mature trees rather than sails.

“Trees not only create a cleaner, greener Brisbane but are also a great source of shade.”

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