The fight for more shade over Wagga's sun-soaked playgrounds will take a major step forward on Monday, with the city's councillors set to call for a report into the cost of installing shade sails over every playground.
Wagga councillor and parent Georgie Davies has filed a notice of motion urging Wagga City Council to examine the level of shade protection at each council-owned playground, the cost of installing shade sails and potential funding models to finance the works.
The motion comes following years of complaints from Wagga parents that many playgrounds become unusable when in the sun due to "blistering" play equipment, as well as concerns over their exposure to harmful UV rays.
"I was at Cox Park this morning with my son Lachie and when we got there one parent told us to not touch the swings because they're too hot and another said not to use the slide because it's too hot," Cr Davies said.
"It's great that we have so many playgrounds but they need to be functional ... especially considering Wagga has such an extreme climate where for many months of the year it is very hot."
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Sheridan Evans, the community program coordinator for Cancer Council NSW in Wagga, has expressed her support for the motion and said shade sails over playgrounds are crucial to protecting people from skin cancer.
"The research shows us that Australia has the highest UV radiation level and also the highest incidents of skin cancer in the world," Mrs Evans said.
"So if we can protect adults and children from sun exposure while they're at playgrounds then we are lowering their risk."
Earlier this month, Wagga City Council released the results of an online survey into the playgrounds across the region.
The survey garnered over 400 responses and found shade was the biggest concern Wagga residents had with local playgrounds.
Council's strategic asset planner Ben Creighton acknowledged the findings of the survey, but said shade sails were very expensive to maintain.
"While it would be wonderful to have shade sails across every playground in the LGA, they are quite costly to install and maintain, which would require a significant increase in the playgrounds budget," he said.
Wagga City Council manages 100 playgrounds in the local government area, including 84 in Wagga and 16 in surrounding rural villages.
Councillors will vote on Cr Davies' motion at Monday night's council meeting.
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