ALBURY Council has earmarked $1.046 million to be spent on shade sails at playgrounds to prevent skin cancer and cool equipment.
The move follows an audit of areas with swings and monkey bars which found 71 of 86 did not have material covers.
The same review found that 27 had no shade, 39 minimal shade and 20 significant shade.
In reply to the findings, councillors agreed this week to allocate $261,725 per annum over the next four years to install shade sails and also plant 89 advanced trees across the same timeframe.
The total cost for 32 shade sails would be $990,000 and the outlay on the trees amounts to $56,900.
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"The UV is high enough in Albury to damage unprotected skin 10 months of the year," Ms Goodall said.
"We know that children receive greater amounts of exposure to UV compared to adults, so moving to quality shade is effective and can reduce UV exposure by up to 75 per cent."
Ms Goodall said council had duty of care to protect citizens from harmful rays and shade sails also aided community fitness.
"The cooling effect in hot weather (allows)...for an increase in physical activity that reduces chronic diseases and improves mental health and wellbeing," she said.
Play spots rated top priority for shade sails are at Hume Gardens, Melrose Park, Bonnie Doon Park, Patricia Gould Reserve, Collings Park and Thurgoona Oval.
The 15 parks to already have sun protection include Eastern Circuit, Endeavour, Red Gum, Roy Benyon and Fellowes.
Greens councillor Ashley Edwards said the value of playgrounds had been evidenced through COVID when families had been locked down and she welcomed the prospect of shade sail spending.
"This recommendation represents a significant investment in the long term health of our communities," Cr Edwards said.
"Our city has high rates of skin cancer caused by UV exposure and as outlined by Ms Goodall, from the cancer council, the costs of inaction to our community are high."
Councillor Stuart Baker called for a master plan to also address the surrounds of the city's public swimming pools when it comes to UV barriers.
"It's often where you've got not a great amount of clothes on and it's just as critical as the land-based playgrounds," Cr Baker said.
Deputy mayor Steve Bowen also gave support for scrutiny of pool areas.
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