Written on the 14 November 2012
Ms HARTLAND (Western Metropolitan) -- I move:
This research indicates that these age restrictions are largely ineffective. Further, according to a recent expert review of the evidence, solarium use by people under the age of 35 increased an individual's risk of melanoma by 87 per cent. The risk of cancer to all sunbed users, not just those under 18 years of age, is too high. Current regulations are inadequate. We need to take the next step and introduce a total ban on solariums.
Earlier this year the New South Wales government announced plans to ban commercial solariums, and in October South Australia banned the commercial use of sunbeds. These bans will commence from 31 December, 2014, in both states and will save lives. The need for such a ban is even greater in Victoria, where 458 sunbeds still operate -- more than twice as many as in NSW which just regulated to ban them altogether. These bans are the only responsible way to manage the significant risk the use of sunbeds poses to public health.
Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- I am pleased to rise to speak to Ms Hartland's motion. I think this motion is worthy and its sentiment good.
As I said in my previous contribution, Ms Hartland is very concerned about health-related issues, and this is one that she has raised and has spoken on with passion. I think her sentiment in relation to this motion should be commended.
Ms Hartland made mention of how Victoria took a leading role -- which I think was in 2008 -- in adopting Australia's first regulation and licensing of tanning beds. I commend the former government on taking that leading role in this important area; it was a very important move. Ms Hartland highlighted the campaign by Clare Oliver based on her sad story of melanoma and experience with tanning beds. I certainly recall that story on 60 Minutes, which documented her sad situation. It was very moving at the time, and it does not seem that five years have passed since she died. Clare championed the cause and highlighted the dramatic effects of melanoma and sunbeds.
The minister's response was:
I can confirm that one of the priorities in the draft framework is to examine Victoria's future options for the regulation of solaria, with the options ranging from the strengthening of the regulatory approach through to a total ban on solariums.
I think the minister does understand this issue. I am not sure whether Labor or the Greens made a submission to the draft framework.
It is a very comprehensive document. It outlines a plan and the concerns of Cancer Council Victoria. Obviously we have a lot of awareness about the health impacts of vitamin D deficiency and the balance required between appropriate levels of vitamin D and overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). As we are all well aware, Australia has the world's highest rate of skin cancer. This framework states:
We can, as a state, be very proud of the lead we have taken in areas of public health interest. This framework that has been put together under the minister outlines those concerns. It talks of this issue. It is very comprehensive, as I said. I understand that over 200 submissions were provided to the framework. I think that is a significant endorsement of the many interested persons who wanted to have a say on this issue. I think the framework goes a long way to looking at all these issues relating to skin cancer and solarium use.
Those are significant effects -- there is no doubt about that -- and this framework highlights that. As I said, the role that the previous government played in looking at this issue and adopting Australia's first regulations should be commended. Those regulations and reforms have led to a reduction of approximately 53 per cent in the number of commercial tanning units in the state and have had a significant impact on reducing hazardous UVR exposure to the most at-risk groups.