Spotlight on shire’s health

Hepburn Shire Council will take a collective approach to improving the health and wellbeing of the community.

Council has collaborated with health partners such as Hepburn Health, Women’s Health Grampians and Central Highlands Primary Care Partnership to draw up the 2017-2021 plan.

Hepburn Shire’s Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan addresses four key priority areas in public health including healthy eating and active living, healthy and safe environments, social connection and resilient communities and preventing family violence. 

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires councils to “seek to protect, improve and promote public health and wellbeing within the municipal district”. Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plans must outline a council’s broad mission, goals and priorities through which people living in the municipality are able to achieve maximum health and wellbeing. 

HEALTH OUTCOMES: Council has released its Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan for 2017-2021. Photo: AFP

HEALTH OUTCOMES: Council has released its Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan for 2017-2021. Photo: AFP

The five strategic objectives of Hepburn Shire Council’s plan are quality community infrastructure, active and engaged communities, sustainable environment, vibrant economy and high performing organisation.

Some of the common themes include improving walking and cycling tracks across the shire, including the development of the Rail Trail project. Another infrastructure idea is the development of an indoor swimming pool so to provide a year-round inexpensive place to exercise and socialise. 

The plan also outlines acknowledging and supporting the work of neighbourhood houses “to build and sustain resilient communities”. 

Accessibility is another key theme, with access to an increased number of parks and recreation facilities for use by people with disabilities or with prams.

Council also outlines wanting to provide strong support for sporting clubs by working with external organisations to advocate for implementation of health initiatives like healthy eating policies, gender equity, encouraging female participation in sport and encouraging water as a drink of choice.