Local Governments and Public Health Planning

Local Government is the closest level of Government to the community and provides a significant contribution to public health and mental wellbeing of the community. The WA State Government introduced the Public Health Act 2016  for Western Australia which requires Local Governments to develop local public health plans. The Public Health Act 2016 is being delivered in stages, with full implementation expected by 2021. All regulations from the previous Act are currently under review and will be repealed and replaced.

WALGA Public Health Advocacy

Local Government have requested for WALGA to continue to advocate for funding, support and resources from State and Commonwealth Government to assist with their transition to the new obligations under the Public Health Act 2016 and support for improved health outcomes for their communities.

In February 2017, WALGA surveyed Local Government about their readiness to meet their obligations under the Public Health Act 2016 and future health workforce needs seeking feedback on environmental health workforce planning and local public health planning. As a result the following two discussion papers were developed:

  • The Role of Local Government in Community Health and Wellbeing discussion paper was prepared to inform members on their obligations under the Public Health Act 2016, assist with Local Public Health Planning, and identify what further support and resources are required to assist Local Government.  
  • Environmental Health Workforce Planning discussion paper provides the results of the WALGA survey of the Local Government Environmental Health workforce, and encourages Local Governments to plan for their future workforce by following recommendations and resources provided by the former Department of Local Government and Communities (Now the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries).

In response to the request of advocacy by Local Governments, WALGA established the Health and Wellbeing Advocacy Group, to provide advice and support to inform WALGA submissions and advocacy on behalf of member Local Governments.  WALGA's Public Health Advocacy Plan has been developed in conjunction with this group. WALGA is also a member of the Metropolitan Environmental Health Managers Group and the Local Government Health and Wellbeing Group to ensure all Local Governments are receiving relevant information and have opportunities to provide feedback and comment.

Information Session on the Public Health Act 2016 and Local Government Public Health Planning

WALGA has previously hosted an event to provide information to Local Government Elected Members and CEOs on their obligations under the Public Health Act 2016, particularly the requirement for Local Governments to provide local Public Health Plans.

Video Download - To download the webinar video for offline playback click here  (Note the file size is 2GB).

Presentations

State Public Health Plan

The Chief Health Officer of the Department of Health has released the State Public Health Plan for Western Australia 2019-2024. The Plan provides high level strategic directions focusing on prevention, health promotion and health protection strategies that aim to prevent disease, illness, injury, disability and premature death in Western Australia.

The State Public Health Plan establishes a vision for Western Australians, where we aspire for the people of WA to experience the best possible health, wellbeing and quality of life. This vision is supported by three objectives:

Objective 1 - Empower and enable people to live healthy lives
Objective 2 - Provide health protection for the community
Objective 3 - Improve Aboriginal health and wellbeing

This is the first state public health plan produced for WA to support the future requirements of Part 5 of the Public Health Act 2016, requiring each Local Government district to publish a local public health plan that is consistent with the State PH Plan.

The plan is intended to support Local Governments commencing or continuing the public health planning process. Local Governments can consider the Plan’s priorities and adapt them as necessary to reflect the particular public health risks prevailing in its local district.

The plan can be accessed here.