Editorial | Nationals spruik sun safety with tongue-in-cheek video

THERE’S one thing Nationals MPs won’t be taking off any time soon. 

And that’s their hats. 

A tongue-in-cheek video featuring Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and his Nationals colleagues promoting a sun safety message by dancing along to You Can Leave Your Hat On is gaining traction.

The video contains a number of senior Nationals MPs and senators bopping away to the iconic song, featuring a whip, provocative dance moves involving a tie and even Transport and Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester in a bubble bath with nothing on but his Akubra.

While social media was quick to jump on the risque video, the message behind it remains plain and simple –  to raise much-needed funds for life-changing melanoma research, and to also raise awareness about sun-safe behaviour.

Mr Joyce has been open about his battle with skin cancer and has gone under the knife a number of times to get melanomas removed, which he attributes to his younger years working the land.

The Nationals-backed “Leave Your Hat On” campaign is part of a nationwide push by the Melanoma Institute of Australia. 

Melanoma kills more 20-39-year-old Australians than any other single cancer.

Almost 14,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in 2017.

“Leave Your Hat On” is your chance to help end melanoma.

Farmers aged 65 and over are twice as likely to die of skin cancer than other Australians.

The incidence of new cases of melanoma is higher in regional areas than in major cities, with farmers more likely to die of skin cancer than any other group – a 60 per cent higher death rate.

It is prudent the Nationals have backed the campaign, given the incidence of skin cancer among farmers and those aged over 65 – largely their voting demographic.

It's an issue close to the heart of our own MP – and probably one that most of us have had or know someone who has had a brush with. It’s time we do something about it.

Aussies are renowned for the love of the great outdoors. But with that comes responsibility. And the answer is simple. 

So, in Mr Joyce’s words: “You might think a hat looks a bit silly”.

“But I’ll tell you, when they start cutting bits of your body off, when they cut your nose off and your ears off to get rid of the cancer, that looks even sillier. So, wear a hat.”