New guide for local government offers pathway to better health

A group of two men and six woman, some holding a printed publication
Representatives from SMHS, WALGA, Healthway and local governments at the launch event.
November 30, 2017

Local governments will be better equipped to consider the health impacts of their planning decisions, thanks to a new guide launched this week.

The second edition of the resource Pathway to a healthy community: a guide for councillors and local government has been published by South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) with support from the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA).

The guide recognises the vital role of local government in the prevention of disease and the promotion of health and wellbeing, including case studies, strategies and other useful insights to assist with the development of local public health plans.

SMHS Board Chair Rob McDonald said the resource reflected the importance of addressing health at a local level.

“Local government has a significant impact on the social, economic and environmental factors that influence health, wellbeing and quality of life,” Rob said.

“The guide explores these factors in detail, introducing contemporary thinking to help local governments plan with their residents’ health in mind.

“It sets out a pathway to the creation of healthier communities – a goal that can only be achieved if health is at the centre of our vision for the future.”

WALGA President Lynne Craigie said the guide was a valuable resource for councillors and staff.

“The information and strategies in the guide highlight how State and Local Governments can work together through consultation, communication and collaboration,” she said.

“The guide will help local governments build healthier, more resilient communities.”

Read Pathway to a healthy community: a guide for councillors and local government (external PDF 5MB).