There’s a simple reason Barnaby Joyce is always sporting an Akubra – and no, it’s not because it’s part of the Nationals uniform – it’s to prevent skin cancer.
The Deputy Prime Minister and his Nationals’ colleagues have released a risque video promoting a sun safe message – leave your hat on.
The video features a number of senior Nationals MPs and Senators dancing along to You Can Leave Your Hat On – the video is online, but be warned, it does contain 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.
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.
“Where are the highest incidents of melanoma in Australia? Walcha,” he says in the video.
“Where did I grow up? Near Walcha. And guess what I’ve had. Melanoma.
“Now 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.”
Farmers 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.