The Greens marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by taking two actions in the Parliament. First, by tabling a petition supported by over 35,000 members of the public calling on the Albanese Government to stop fueling violence by exporting military equipment to Israel, and second calling for a permanent ceasefire to stop the killing of civilians.

Over recent weeks, the State of Israel’s attacks on Gaza have killed thousands of innocent civilians and destroyed hospitals, schools and places of worship. Legal scholars around the world recognise these actions as amounting to collective punishment and war crimes.

While the conflict rages, the Albanese Government has refused to provide the Australian public with clear information on what military equipment has been exported to Israel from Australia and used in this brutal war.

According to figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, between 2017-2022, Australia directly exported to Israel over $13 million in “arms and ammunition.” This will likely be only a small amount of the equipment contained within the 350 military export permits between Australia and Israel over the past five years.

Senator David Shoebridge, Greens Defence Spokesperson, said:

“The Government knows exactly what military equipment we sell and what countries we sell it to, but refuses to be honest and transparent with the public.

“We are calling on the Government to provide essential information on military exports, which is the standard practice in countries like the US. This information is needed to ensure military equipment is not exported to countries actively involved in human rights abuses.

“There is clear evidence of Australia providing weapons and military equipment to Israel over the past five years, whether that is the millions of dollars in exports of arms and ammunition reported through DFAT, or the 350 military export permits since 2017.

“Australia must not be complicit in war crimes and the Government must immediately cease all military exports to the State of Israel,” Senator Shoebridge said.

Senator Jordon Steele-John, Greens Foreign Affairs Spokesperson said:

“What we need right now is a ceasefire, not the continuing proliferation of arms in a conflict that has already taken the lives of over 15,000 people.”

“The goal must always be a just and lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis and to do that we must seek to stop the senseless cycle of violence. That means ending the State of Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, an end to the crime of apartheid currently being committed on the Palestinian population, and the release of all hostages and political prisoners.

“The Greens condemn the war crimes of Hamas and the State of Israel and will continue to seek a peaceful and diplomatic outcome because the violence on October 7 and the atrocities in Gaza have no place in our society and push a just and lasting peace further out of reach.

“Today, the International Day for Solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must remember that Palestinian people have the fundamental right to self-determination,” Senator Steele-John said.


Greens leader Adam Bandt has today responded to Labor’s shared equity scheme, calling it deeply inadequate and raising concerns that it could make the housing crisis worse.

The Greens will consider their position on the legislation and intend to further scrutinise the bill through an inquiry process. With an entire generation of young people locked out of housing, a key concern is the extremely small number of beneficiaries of the scheme, as well as the prospect that it will further push up the price of homes.

As the Housing Australia Future Fund debate has shown, Labor will not take meaningful action on the housing crisis without the Greens pushing them. Earlier this year the Greens were able to secure $3 billion in funding for social housing and a guaranteed spend of $500 million per year. 

The Productivity Commission has said that there is not a strong case for government assistance to be targeted at purchasing a home. Instead, they should focus housing assistance on the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, which will have overall benefits to the housing market. They outlined that there is a risk that demand-side policies, like the Help-to-Buy scheme will push house prices up further and lock more people out of home ownership.  

Adam Bandt, leader of the Australian Greens said:

“Labor is tinkering around the edges of the housing crisis instead of stopping unlimited rent increases and ending unfair tax breaks for rich property moguls,” Mr Bandt said.

“We will look at this legislation, but are concerned about approaches that allow a tiny proportion of applicants to buy a house while potentially pushing up prices for everyone else. 

“It’s Labor’s ‘hard to get’ scheme. Getting a spot in this scheme will be like finding a Willy Wonka golden ticket. You shouldn’t have to win a lottery to be able to have a home.

“Housing is an essential service and in a country as wealthy as Australia, the government has an obligation to ensure everyone has an affordable, quality home. 

“Property developers will be happy to hear that Labor is dressing up another boost to their profits as a solution to the housing crisis.”

“The Greens want housing and rents to be cheaper. That means freezing rent increases, massive investment in public housing and phasing out unfair tax concessions for property moguls.

“With Labor backing rich property investors and developers, the Greens are proudly the party of renters and people trying to buy their first home.”


With official emissions data revealing today that emissions under Labor have risen 3.6 million tonnes this year, the Greens have said that Labor’s talk of climate action is gaslighting when they continue to open new coal and gas projects.

The Government has also confirmed that they will refuse to back the Climate Change Authority’s recommendation to reduce gas demand through phasing out new and existing gas connections, while instead focusing the government’s energy on building new gas fields.

Additionally, they have refused to fully support net-zero based Fuel Efficiency Standards as recommended by the Climate Change Authority, leaving Australia at risk of becoming the dumping ground for old and dirty ICE vehicles.

Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP, has called for Labor to stop opening up new coal and gas. Gas is as dirty as coal, and the federal government must play a role in ensuring households don’t get stuck on the expensive and polluting fuel source.

Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens said:

“Climate pollution is rising under Labor and they’re still approving new coal and gas mines,” Mr Bandt said.

“Labor must stop gaslighting the public. Opening new coal and gas isn’t climate action. 

“By opening new gas fields and refusing to help phase out gas in homes, Labor is trying to prop up the gas industry by trapping customers on the expensive, polluting energy source. 

“Labor isn’t even going to meet its unscientific 43% emissions reduction target, which will see Australia blitz past 2 degrees of warming and see our country’s agriculture pushed to the brink.

“There are ten coal and gas projects on Tanya Plibersek’s desk that will create ten times more pollution than what the government’s weak 2030 targets will save.”

New partnership to help fight HIV

The Albanese Government is investing up to $12 million in a new partnership that will support local communities and governments in Southeast Asia and the Pacific to improve HIV testing and treatment, reduce stigma and discrimination, and lower transmission.

Australia will work with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Health Equity Matters to deliver this new initiative, which aims to accelerate access to new HIV prevention and treatment solutions, through community-led responses.

HIV responses which are specifically crafted for and implemented by communities, are key to addressing stigma and discrimination, and reaching all those who need help.

From prevention to treatment, addressing stigma and discrimination is critical. HIV is a virus that affects all parts of the community, women and girls accounted for almost half of all new HIV infections in 2022. Therefore, community-led responses are an effective way of reaching all people who need assistance.

This is part of the Australian Government’s five-year $620 million Partnerships for a Healthy Region initiative, and is in addition to Australia’s ongoing support to UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

World AIDS Day, on 1 December, is a time to reflect on the remarkable progress made in the fight against HIV, and the work required to end the HIV epidemic and support those living with HIV.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong said:

“Globally we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV – but there is still more to be done.

“It is critical that Australia supports communities in our region to end the HIV epidemic, including through sharing our own knowledge and experience.”

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP said:

“This new partnership will support locally led solutions to the HIV epidemic in our region – enabling affected communities to lead the response.

“We are building genuine partnerships across our region to reduce HIV transmission and support those living with HIV.”

CEO, Health Equity Matters, Adjunct Professor Darryl O’Donnell said:

“The most effective way to treat and prevent HIV is to empower the people who most feel its impact.

“We endorse the Government’s resolve to fight stigma and expand access to prevention, treatment and testing.”

Regional Director, UNAIDS Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe Central Asia regions, Eamonn Murphy said:

“UNAIDS values Australia’s long-standing partnership globally and in the Indo-Pacific region, and particularly its commitment to community leadership.

“By supporting expanded access to HIV prevention and treatment while reducing stigma and discrimination, we can accelerate progress toward ending AIDS as a public health threat.”

Five-year investment secures long-term future for flagship New Annual festival

City of Newcastle (CN) has reaffirmed its support for the region’s creative arts industry, locking in a five-year commitment for the New Annual festival and opening expressions of interest for local artists.

Councillors voted at last night’s Council meeting to expand the festival from a year-by-year event to one guaranteed to continue as the city’s flagship art and culture event until at least 2028.

This will enable strategic long-term planning for the ongoing growth of New Annual, which attracted around 95,000 visitors and involved more than 1,500 visiting and local artists and performers during its first three years.

Catapult Dance Choreographic Hub performed their new dance production, Rhapsody, as part of New Annual 2023 after being selected in the Made New program.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said New Annual will continue to develop as a significant cultural tourism attraction for Newcastle.

“Our vision is to see New Annual elevate Newcastle’s reputation as a creative hub on the national and international stage,” Cr Nelmes said.

“A five-year commitment provides the platform for securing high-profile collaborations, attracting renowned artists, and achieving national recognition.

“New Annual’s significance extends beyond its support for the arts by strengthening our position as a cultural tourism destination, which in turn generates an economic boost for local businesses through longer stays and increased visitor spending.”

CN is also calling for applications for New Annual’s ‘Made New’ program, which provides an opportunity for local artists and those with a connection to Newcastle to become part of future festival programs.

Chair of CN’s Community and Culture Advisory Committee Cr Carol Duncan said New Annual would continue to play an important role in celebrating the depth of talent in Newcastle’s cultural and arts sector.

“City of Newcastle is committed to supporting local artists and organisations through flagship events such as New Annual, which provide a high-profile platform to showcase their talents alongside leading national and internationally-renowned practitioners,” Cr Duncan said.

“Local artists and performers accounted for more than 60 per cent of this year’s programming, including the recipients of our ‘Made New’ program, who were supported by City of Newcastle to deliver sold-out productions across the 10-day festival.

“This included a stunning new dance production performed by Catapult Dance Choreographic Hub, an AI-driven interactive theatre experience by The Parallel Effect and the hilarious debut of Newcastle-based play, Spewy, by Novocastrian-born playwright Ang Collins.

“I look forward to seeing the performances produced under the next round of Made New funding, which will form part of the wider programming of local performers at New Annual.”

Local artists working across interdisciplinary art forms, visual arts, dance, theatre, music, and multimedia are encouraged to submit an expression of interest before 5pm on 14 January, 2024.

The selected projects or works will be presented as part of New Annual 2024, which will be held from 27 September – 6 October, 2024, or New Annual 2025, which is scheduled for 26 September – 5 October, 2025. This flexibility is designed to support those with large-scale projects that may benefit from an extended development period.

To keep up-to-date with the latest news or submit an expression of interest for Made New, visit

Hamilton’s green heart prepares for reimagined playspace

City of Newcastle will invest more than $3 million into a new inclusive playspace at Hamilton’s historic Gregson Park, with construction set to kick off early next year.

Councillors voted Tuesday night to accept the tender for the project, which will include a variety of traditional play equipment, as well as a range of accessible and nature-based play options, with traditional Indigenous elements, including a yarning circle to encourage knowledge sharing and a bush tucker garden to enrich learning of native edible plants.

Additional shade, a water feature, formal and informal seating, and footbridges will also feature, complemented by an upgraded, accessible amenities building and new covered picnic area, with construction expected to be completed in late 2024.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Cr Duncan at Gregson Park

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the next step in the delivering this important project for Hamilton residents and the community.

“City of Newcastle is committed to delivering quality playgrounds and green spaces across Newcastle for locals and visitors to enjoy,” Cr Nelmes said.

“We know our community values Gregson Park’s rich Indigenous history and what it offers as a diverse recreational space.

“Construction of this playspace in the new year signifies an important milestone in delivering our shared vision for Gregson Park, and was identified as a high priority action as part of the adopted Masterplan for the much-loved park.

“We’ve undertaken extensive community engagement in preparing the Gregson Park Masterplan 2021, with feedback incorporated into the final design for the playspace and upgraded amenities, along with consultation with First Nations Australians to appropriately capture Indigenous elements in the design.”

Councillor Carol Duncan, who is also the Chair of the Community and Culture Advisory Committee, said she looked forward to the project progressing.

“Gregson Park is a well-loved destination for Hamilton residents and the wider Newcastle community, offering a tranquil green space, just a short stroll from bustling Beaumont Street,” Cr Duncan said.

“The enhanced inclusive elements of the new playspace and upgraded amenities will ensure Gregson Park is made even more accessible for the future generation’s enjoyment of the space.

“I’m excited to see more members of our community interacting with this space in years to come.”

Newcastle Art Gallery expansion reaches new heights

The expansion of the Newcastle Art Gallery will reach new heights today with the installation of a 33 metre high hammerhead tower crane on site.

The crane will facilitate the next stage of the long-awaited Art Gallery Expansion project, which will more than double the size of the Gallery, modernising the facility into a fitting home for City of Newcastle’s nationally significant $126 million collection.

Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation Chair Suzie Galwey, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Councillor Carol Duncan with representatives from City of Newcastle and Hansen Yuncken at the Newcastle Art Gallery site for the arrival and installation of the tower crane.Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes was pleased to see the main construction works progressing, bringing the community another step closer to a world class space for education and enjoyment of the arts.

“Due to its smaller size, the Gallery has only ever had the capacity to display around one percent of its amazing collection at any one time,” Cr Nelmes said.

“The expanded Gallery will mean we can welcome many more people into the space and give our collection the home it deserves.

“The newly installed crane is a welcome albeit temporary addition to our city’s skyline, and I am really pleased to see the construction activity forging ahead.”

Once completed, the expansion project will deliver multiple exhibition spaces with the ground floor galleries dedicated to permanent collection display, a café, retail shop, multi-purpose program space, and a secure international standard loading dock.

The crane’s arrival followed the presentation on Tuesday of a $1.3 million cheque for the expansion to City of Newcastle from the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation. The milestone payment is drawn from the Art Gallery Redevelopment Fund, which consists of funds raised by the community over many years and held in trust by the Foundation on behalf of the City of Newcastle since 2013.

Foundation Chair Suzie Galwey said the Foundation had so far secured philanthropic donations and pledges totalling $12 million for the expansion project, with a further $1 million being sought to achieve its $13 million fundraising goal.

“This cheque represents two decades of community passion, advocacy and fundraising for a world class gallery for Newcastle and the Hunter,” Ms Galwey said.

“It’s wonderful to celebrate this milestone payment alongside such exciting progress in the construction works and we look forward to seeing the expanded building continue to take shape.”

To celebrate the arrival of the crane, City of Newcastle is collaborating with Head Contractor Hansen Yuncken and a range of early learning providers in a family-friendly ‘Name the Crane’ colouring competition.

Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton OAM said the fun competition would help spark interest in both the arts and construction amongst Newcastle’s youngest students.

“The Gallery has long partnered with schools and pre-schools in the area to foster connections and creativity, so this seemed like a lovely way to continue this legacy while our programming has moved off-site,” Ms Morton said.

Results of the competition, including the reveal of the crane’s name, will be announced early next year.

The Newcastle Art Gallery expansion project is supported by $5 million from the Australian Government under the Regional Recovery Partnerships and $5 million from the New South Wales Government under the Regional Recovery Package, as well as $12 million from the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation made possible through the Valerie and John Ryan bequest, Margaret Olley Trust, and community fundraising over many years. A further $1 million is currently being sought through the Foundation’s public fundraising campaign.

The Regional Recovery Partnerships initiative seeks to broker connections between all levels of government to increase information flow, share technical expertise and strengthen regional development outcomes.

Iconic Lismore ice cream factory reopens

Northern Rivers flood recovery has hit a significant milestone today, with the reopening of the Norco ice cream factory in Lismore.Norco ice cream factory reopening

The factory, one of the biggest employers in the Northern Rivers, was forced to close after suffering major damage in the February-March 2022 floods.

Today it’s back in business, with 130 local employees now back at work, and more hires to be made over the coming months.

The Lismore factory produces approximately 42 million litres of ice cream per year.

The Albanese and NSW Governments collectively contributed nearly $55 million to the reopening efforts, to protect local jobs, boost resilience and re-establish factory operations.

This includes $34.7 million jointly funded through the Anchor Business Support Grant Program, which supported six key local businesses to retain staff and rebuild.

The funding has supported Norco to rebuild with a flood-proof design and technologies that have equipped the site to defend a 15.0M flood – higher than the 2022 levels:

  • Positioning expensive specialised equipment like switch boards 15 metres above ground.
  • Installing quick release capabilities to items such as pumps so they can be moved easily.
  • Installing two mezzanines to allow staff to lift pallets of equipment greater than 15 metres high.
  • Installing nib walls to protect equipment that cannot be moved.
  • Installing additional sumps and pumps within the flood barriers to deal with any water leaks.
  • Implementing a four-stage flood management plan that is reviewed and practised regularly to ensure best practice and safe evacuation procedures.
  • Installing infrastructure to detect unprecedented disaster events, such as fires.

These measures mean the factory will be able to open its doors within days or weeks rather than months or years following another flooding event.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said:

“This is an exciting day – Norco is one of the region’s biggest employers, and seeing the doors reopen is a big boost for the community.

“The Albanese Government invested $20 million directly, and close to $35 million jointly with the NSW Government to help secure the future of Norco’s Northern Rivers operations, because of the important role it holds in the region.

“A major priority for the Albanese Government was to ensure that as much of the workforce as possible were retained, so it’s great to hear that 130 workers will be back today.

“Many have been working with the Lismore City Council and groups like Resilience Lismore to support local community recovery work while the factory was being rebuilt.

“Our Government was pleased to work with the NSW Government and all of the recipients of Anchor Business Support grants to help rebuild local facilities.

“The improvements will minimise the damage of future flooding and support those businesses to bounce back faster, providing more consistent employment for their workers.”

Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty said:

“The reopening of Norco ice cream factory marks a huge milestone in the flood recovery efforts for the Northern Rivers.

“As one of the biggest employers in the region, we know how important it is to invest in projects that deliver resilient infrastructure so people can stay in jobs and the economy can thrive.

“Our shared goal with the 100 per cent Australian dairy farmer owned Norco, is that after any future flooding event this investment in the rebuilt Norco ice cream factory has ensured the business will be able to get back into action quicker.”

Assistant Minister Senator Jenny McAllister said:

“Today is an important milestone for the Northern Rivers.

“The Norco factory brings workers, farmers, businesses, and the community together, and the Albanese Government is committed to building back smarter and stronger.

“The factory has been fitted with flood mitigation measures like higher switch boards and quick release mechanisms to future proof the factory against floods higher than the 2022 level.”

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin said:

“The reopening of the Norco ice cream factory is a massive day for the people here in the Northern Rivers.

“Not only is it important for the employees to get back to work but it’s also crucial for local dairy farmers and small businesses who rely on the factory.

“The ice cream factory is one of the longest standing large businesses in the region, and with the new flood mitigations measures in place we want to ensure that it continues to stay that way.”

Norco Chief Executive Officer Michael Hampson said:

“We understand just how important the factory is to our workforce and the Lismore community and will remain future-focused on continuing to create opportunities for the region, maintaining a strong focus on innovation, jobs creation and investment in people, to create exciting career development pathways from right here in Lismore.

“I’d also like to express my sincere gratitude to both the Australian and NSW Governments who facilitated the Anchor Business Support Program, and delivered the funding which has enabled us to rebuild in a way that has modernised our operations and introduce product innovations and technology that will help cement the Northern Rivers of NSW and its thriving ‘food belt’ as a food innovation, centre of excellence.”

The Anchor Business Support Grant Program supported nearly 1400 local full-time jobs in the Northern Rivers, through six successful recipients:

  • Norco Co-operative Limited 
  • Manildra Harwood Sugars (Sunshine Sugar)
  • Social Futures,
  • McKinlay Enterprises (North Coast Petroleum)
  • Williams Group Australia
  • Multitask Human Resource Foundation.

The $59.3 million program was funded by a $44.3 million commitment from the Commonwealth Government, with $15 million co-funding from the NSW Government.

NSW leads the way in tackling digital skills shortage

The NSW Government is joining leaders across government, the digital industry, and education and training providers to address the projected shortage of 85,000 digital workers in NSW by 2030.

Today, the Minister for Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan, officially launched the NSW Digital Skills and Workforce Compact at NSW Parliament House.

This collaborative effort involves the participation of 37 compact partners, spanning across the highest levels of industry. Combined, compact partners have a reach of 1.7 million students and represent over 340,000 digital workers in NSW.

The compact will promote digital careers across the state to students, parents, and advisors, advancing tech careers in traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, First Nations people, and those residing in regional and remote areas.

The partnership will support industry in developing and implementing new employment pathways, giving new workers on-the-job training experiences to start a long-term career in the digital industry. 

The digital compact aspires to achieve the following milestones:

  • Transform the perception of digital careers, enhancing diversity in the sector, fostering welcoming and productive workspaces.
  • Collaborate with industry partners to expand and enhance new pathway programs for tech roles, including traineeships and work experiences.
  • Extend the reach of mentoring and networking programs to engage a more diverse audience.
  • Provide increased opportunities for the people of NSW to reskill or upskill in tech-related roles.
  • Establish a collaborative platform with universities, TAFE, school curriculum providers, and industry experts to create a Digital Education Forum dedicated to enhancing tech education and industry partnerships.
  • This collaborative effort marks a significant step forward in addressing the digital skills gap in NSW, ensuring a robust and inclusive digital workforce for the future.

For more information visit the NSW Digital Skills and Workforce Compact.

Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan said:

“It’s terrific to sign this landmark agreement as the NSW Government unites with industry and education leaders to proactively tackle the looming digital skills shortage.

“This partnership is a testament to our commitment to shaping a digitally empowered future for NSW and together, we’re laying the foundation for a resilient and inclusive digital workforce for the future.

“The NSW Digital Compact represents a significant opportunity for government to work with industry to change people’s idea of ‘tech,’ expanding the inclusivity of the sector.

“We’re not just bridging the skills gap; we’re building pathways for thousands of students, parents, and advisors to explore and embrace tech careers.”

Chair of the NSW Skills Board and CEO of Microsoft ANZ, Steven Worrall, said:

“Research commissioned by the NSW Skills Board shows that NSW is projecting a shortfall of 85k digital workers by 2030.

“We need to increase opportunities for more people to come into these roles as existing pathways won’t meet this demand. The compact is crucial to meeting the 85,000 shortfall and ensuring we create a sector that reflects the diversity of NSW. Compact partners intend to achieve 20% of new hires coming from alternative pathways by 2030.

“We believe the compact will help to provide a pipeline of diverse talent to fill these high paying, secure jobs that are being created in NSW’s digital sector.”

The NSW Digital Compact Partners are: the NSW Government, Accenture, ACFIPS, ACS, AIIA, Akkodis, ANZ, AWS, Business NSW, Commonwealth Bank, Future Skills Organisation, the Institute of Applied Technology Digital, ITECA, Linkedin, Microsoft, NAB; Salesforce, Seek, TAFE NSW, Tech Council of Australia, Telstra, Westpac Group, Woolworths Group and all NSW/ACT universities.

Alarming rates of sunburn in children and young people

Parents and carers are being urged to protect their children from the sun, with an alarming number of children and young people being treated in emergency departments for sunburn.

Health Minister Ryan Park acknowledged more needs to be done to reduce the incidence of skin cancer joining NSW Chief Cancer Officer Professor Tracey O’Brien and Member for Coogee Dr Marjorie O’Neill to launch the NSW Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy 2023 to 2030 at the Prince of Wales Hospital.

“It is pretty shocking to hear more than 800 people presented last financial year to our state’s emergency departments with sunburn, with the majority children and young people,” Mr Park said.

“Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and by the end of the year, we anticipate close to 6000 people in NSW will be diagnosed with this devastating cancer.

“Sun damage and skin cancers are highly preventable, and we’re encouraging the community to do really simple things like seeking shade when outdoors, wearing sunscreen, putting on a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing to safeguard themselves.

“Even mild exposure to the sun can lead to damage and I’m confident our latest Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy will help build on decades of skin cancer prevention work in NSW and save more lives.”

Two in 3 Australians will be treated for skin cancer during their lifetime, with 95% of melanoma and 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun.

NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of Cancer Institute NSW, Professor Tracey O’Brien, says high sun exposure in the first 10 years of life more than doubles a person’s risk of developing melanoma skin cancer.

“Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world and protecting our skin from the sun from a very young age, and into adulthood, is key to reducing our risk of skin cancer,” Prof. O’Brien said.

“When people think of skin cancer risk, they often think of a day at the beach, but in NSW, UV radiation levels are high 10 months of the year which is why its vital people protect their skin all year round, even on cool and cloudy days.

“This new strategy is about working across government and community to ensure people are empowered and supported to protect their skin when at school, work and enjoying the outdoors.” 

As a child who spent most of her time outdoors enjoying nippers and netball, Kate Thomas received a devastating melanoma skin cancer diagnosis at the age of 27.

“When I was told I had skin cancer, I couldn’t believe it and my mind automatically went to the worst possible scenario. It was incredibly frightening,” Ms Thomas said.

“I wish I could go back in time and tell my young self to do things differently, to listen to my mum when she kept reminding me to cover up. My diagnosis completely changed my outlook on sun safety and I hope to encourage young people to take skin cancer seriously, and not make the same mistakes I made.”

Member for Coogee Marjorie O’Neill said all UV exposure from the sun is causing damage to our skin and increasing our skin cancer risk.

“We’re fortunate to live in a sun-drenched country which is why remembering to use sun protection needs to be instinctive when we step outside, and not just when we’re at the beach,” Dr O’Neill said.

“Whenever we go for a walk, are at the park or are hanging the washing we need to protect our skin and teach our kids to the do the same.”

The NSW Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy 2023 to 2030 was developed by the Cancer Institute NSW in partnership with 20 organisations and experts across health, education, industry, sport and recreation, and 600 community members.

The strategy focuses on the importance of embedding skin cancer prevention strategies across the public, private and community sector; improving access to quality shade at work, school, play and public spaces; and increasing the adoption of sun protection behaviours.

Read the NSW Skin Cancer Strategy 2023 to 2030launch

Sunburn statistics:

  • In the last 10 years (July 2013 to June 2023), close to 5000 people have presented to an emergency department for treatment of sunburn with the highest rates seen in people aged 5 to 24 years.
  • In the 2022-2023 financial year, 818 people required care in an NSW emergency department for sunburn.
  • This is a 28% increase when compared to the previous financial year (640).
  • In the 2022-2023 financial year, the highest rates of sunburn related emergency department presentations were in Hunter New England (184), followed by South Western Sydney (105), Western NSW (91), Northern NSW (67) and Western Sydney (58).
  • Not all people with sunburn will present to an emergency department.
  • These statistics are just the tip of the iceberg.
  • The high rates in children and young people are concerning as high sun exposure in the first 10 years of life more than doubles their risk of developing melanoma skin cancer.