A Ballina Shire councillor is lobbying to have shade structures installed at children’s playgrounds in the shire, warning that exposure to the sun during childhood is a major case of skin cancers.
Cr Jeff Johnson said the recently constructed playground at the Ballina Heights Sports Fields should be considered a priority.
‘The children’s playground located at the Ballina Heights sports field currently has no shade structure,’ Cr Johnson said. ‘This playground, which is next to a large carpark, bakes in the summer sun causing the equipment to often be too hot to use.’
‘What’s the point with installing playground equipment if its unable to be used because the equipment is simply too hot?’
Cr Johnson said the playground was very popular with families from the Ballina Heights area as well as families that brought their children to play sport on the weekends or to train during the week.
‘I have long been an advocate for additional shade structures to be installed and this popular park should be seen as a high priority,’ he said.
‘The Ballina Shire has one of the highest rates of skin cancer / melanoma’s in the world and studies have shown that exposure during childhood is a major cause of skin cancers that appear later in life, said Cr Jeff Johnson.
‘Paul Hickey, Ballina Council’s General Manager has advised that the value of the works is estimated at $15,000.
‘This is a small price to pay to ensure that our children’s playground equipment is actually able to be used during the summer months and school holidays and that protection from the sun is provided.’