Cancer charity urges more shade at major WA public venues

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE State’s leading cancer charity is calling for changes to design requirements for public venues after two major Perth facilities were criticised over a lack of sun protection.

The $26 million Scarborough Beach Pool and $1.6 billion Optus Stadium, which both opened in January 2018, have topped a Cancer Council WA survey for lacking in shade.

The beachside pool, part of the Scarborough Beach redevelopment, was voted worst by 70 respondents.

Russell Brown Park in Mosman Park and Kewdale’s Tomato Lake Playground were ranked best places for shade.

SunSmart manager Mark Strickland said the survey responses had raised concerns about inadequate shade provision at facilities including playgrounds, sporting grounds and tennis clubs.

“From the feedback, we are concerned that shade is either not sufficiently considered or worse, is actually knocked out of current design processes for public infrastructure,” he said.

Scarborough Beach Pool has been criticised for its lack of shade. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

“In a country that has the world’s highest rates of skin cancer we find this unacceptable.”

The organisation wants a mechanism similar to the State Government’s Per Cent for Art Scheme, which requires artwork installed as part of public building works, to be created to mandate shade.

Mr Strickland said effective shade was needed “now more than ever” because of increasing temperatures in the built environment, and could reduce UV exposure by up to 75 per cent, which was the major cause of skin cancer.

“Shade is the one type of sun protection that we cannot easily provide ourselves and yet we see too many examples of poorly shaded public venues around the state,” he said.

Optus Stadium was ranked second worst on the list.

“In Perth we only get 15 days per year where the UV Index doesn’t reach 31.

“North of Perth that figure falls to zero, so it’s important that public facilities and open spaces provide places where people can retreat from our harsh UV.”

Stirling community development director Michael Quirk said Scarborough Beach Pool was designed to feel similar to the adjacent beach so shade was not built over the pools.

“Shade is provided along the eastern side of the facility through an awning over the seating area and along the western/southern sides through 10 large shade umbrellas,” he said.

“Additional shade is also provided under trees on a grassed area and under the roof line of the restaurant located above the pool.”

Mr Quirk said the City has received feedback about the need for additional shade and was investigating providing shelter over the children’s leisure pool.

Respond to the survey here.

Russell Brown Adventure Park in Mosman Park has been praised for providing shade.

Current results:

Worst for shade

1. Scarborough Beach Pool

2. Optus Stadium

3. One71 Pump Track – Baldivis

4. Oats Street Train Station


Top for shade

1. Russell Brown Park – Mosman Park

2. Tomato Lake Playground – Kewdale

3. Armadale Fitness and Aquatic Centre

4. Jo Wheatley All Abilities Play Space – Dalkeith


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