“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” World HealthOrganisation, 1948
Many factors impact on our health and wellbeing. We all know that eating well and staying fit is good for our health. We know things like drinking, smoking, a poor diet and being inactive can be harmful to our health.
However, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental factors also affect our health and wellbeing. Things like housing, education, employment, transport, access to services, opportunities to participate in the community and a viable and sustainable environment are as influential on our health as our life style choices, medical or genetic factors. Addressing these ‘upstream’ factors, the ‘social determinants of health’, focuses on the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age and leads to policies and strategies that consider, for example, employment, education, attention to the early years of life, housing, social connections, and access to transport, healthy food and health services.
The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 mandates that councils must prepare a Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan every four years following council elections. Under the Act, Local Government has a responsibility to protect, improve and promote public health and wellbeing within its municipality.
Council adopted its Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-2017 and the following priorities on 20 November 2013:
Goal 1: Promote and Maintain Food Safety
Goal 2: Create, Promote and Maintain Healthy Environments
Goal 3: Promote and Encourage Healthy Eating
Goal 4: Increase the Physical Activity Levels of Shire Communities
Goal 5: Provide Tobacco Education and Surveillance
Goal 6: Maintain High Levels of Immunisation Rates
Goal 7: Promote the Benefits of Increased Social Connections
Goal 8: Provide Services and Activities to Address Mental Health in a Regional Setting
Goal 9: Support Education and Employment Opportunities for Young People within the Shire
Goal 10: Improve Fair Access to Services Supporting Health and Wellbeing
We will review the Plan annually against these priority areas and make amendments if necessary.
A copy of the full Plan can be downloaded via the link below.