All Victorian Councils are required to produce a Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan which is reviewed every four years, in line with Council election cycles. The purpose of the Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan is to protect, improve and promote the health and wellbeing of people living in Ballarat. The Plan is required under an Act of Parliament (the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008).
For the period 2013-2017 the City of Ballarat applied to the Secretary of the Department of Health for a formal exemption from producing a Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan. The Council has as an alternative produced a fully integrated Council Plan which addresses health and wellbeing priorities across all departments.
Acting at a local level, Council directly influences factors such as urban design, land use, management of natural resources, employment, social connectedness, transport, community participation and access to services. Research has shown that all of these factors can contribute to the good health of the population (World Health Organization - The Solid Facts - and VicHealth - Leading the Way).
How was the Plan developed?
The planning process started with an internal review of the previous Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2009-13, where we clarified areas and processes that worked well and identified areas for improvement.
We collected information on the state of health of Ballarat residents, and data on areas which affect health such as employment, housing, education and transport. This information was collated into a document called the City of Ballarat Health and Wellbeing Community Profile and can be accessed via the link below.
The community was involved in the development of the plan through a series of seven community engagement opportunities held throughout February and March 2013. We held facilitated forums with the health and welfare sector, stakeholders working in the Family and Children’s Services area, older adults, youth and the transport sector. We also consulted with the Disability Advisory Committee and the Intercultural Advisory Committee. We also gathered data from recent survey work within the Sports and Recreation area. Documents from the community engagement opportunities can be accessed from the links below.