Most Perth playgrounds fail to have cancer-preventing shade structures

by Josh Zimmerman

Three-quarters of Perth playgrounds do not have cancer-preventing shade structures installed, with many councils instead relying on a smattering of trees to provide protection — or nothing at all.

Of the 24 metropolitan councils that responded to a survey by The Sunday Times, only five had installed shade structures at more than half of their playgrounds. In total, just 604 of 2295 playgrounds captured in the survey were protected throughout the entire day by shade sails.

Nature Play chief executive Griffin Longley is a fierce advocate for maintaining trees around playgrounds, which he said were preferable to shade sails.

“We have a tendency in WA to land scrape — to come in and tear everything down and then try and build back in,” Mr Longley said.

“Trees not only provide shade, they actually improve our health and broad sense of wellbeing and provides kids with loose parts to play with such as leaves, sticks and gum nuts.”

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