Editorial December 2 2016

IT’S summer and it is clearly looking like beach weather in the Illawarra again for the weekend.

With temperatures starting to soar again, many around our region will spend their weekend on a beach towel with their sand between their toes.

Yet there will be some who will be reluctant on hearing of yet another shark attack on the state’s northern beaches.

A 65-year-old surfer was admitted to hospital after an attack on Forster by a great white shark on Thursday.

This region had its own serious shark attack at Bombo in March _ albeit the first serious one in decades.

Yet the real summer killer doesn’t swim in the water.

Compared to an average of one death a year to shark attack, skin cancer kills 2000 Australians every year.

Cancer Council Australia chief executive Professor Sanchia Aranda told the Illawarra Mercury, with heatwaves predicted this summer, the real danger on Australian beaches was the sun.

“We still have a significant proportion of Australians who think that a tan is healthy,” Professor Aranda said.

“Just because you don't burn doesn't mean you're not at risk.”

So the lesson has not changed.

Wear sunscreen and protect yourself from the sun as much as possible.

There is no such thing as a “safe” tan.

And as far as the sharks go, Surf Life Saving NSW pointed out here had never been a fatal shark attack at a patrolled beach during patrol hours across the state.

That’s a pretty good tip.

FINDING YOUR VOICE

This time of year means it is time to gather as a community and sing carols of the festive season.

You can go online at illawarramercury.com.au to check out a full list of carols happening right across our region. If we’ve missed any please let us know.

You can also enter our Christmas lights competition.

Entries into the competition closes at 10am Thursday, December 15. 

Voting for the People’s Choice Award will open 6am Friday, December 16 with voting closing at 5pm Thursday, December 22. 

Winners will be published on Friday December 23. The winner will receive a $500 Bunnings gift card. The runner-up and people’s choice winner will each receive a $250 Bunnings gift card.

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