Department of Health

Municipal public health and wellbeing planning

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 recognises the key role of Councils in improving the health and wellbeing of people in their municipality. Section 26 of the Act requires each Council to prepare a Municipal public health and wellbeing plan every four years, within 12 months of a Council general election.

The next Municipal public health and wellbeing plans are due in October 2021.

Municipal public health and wellbeing planning 2021–2025 Advice note 1

Municipal public health and wellbeing planning 2021–2025 Advice note 1 includes information on the legislated requirements for Municipal public health and wellbeing plans; having regard to the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019–2023 and its focus areas; the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2017; as well as data sources and resources to support Councils in development of their Municipal public health and wellbeing plans.

Download Municipal public health and wellbeing planning 2021 – 2025 Advice note 1

Option to seek an exemption from preparing a Municipal public health and wellbeing plan

Section 27 of the Act provides an option for the Municipal public health and wellbeing plan to be incorporated into a Council Plan or Strategic Plan subject to an exemption being granted by the Secretary of the Department of Health. The Local Government Act 2020 requires the Council Plan to be approved by the Council by 31 October in the year following a Council election.

This means that in 2021, for the first time, Municipal public health and wellbeing plans and Council Plans will both be due in October 2021.

Further information on the Local Government Act and its implementation is available from Local Government Victoria.

Municipal public health and wellbeing planning 2021–2025 Advice note 2

Municipal public health and wellbeing planning 2021–2025 Advice note 2 includes information on applying for an exemption from producing a standalone Municipal public health and wellbeing plan.

Download Municipal public health and wellbeing planning 2021–2025 Advice note 2

Relationship to the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019–2023

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act requires Councils to have regard to the State public health and wellbeing plan when developing their Municipal public health and wellbeing plans. This is intended to encourage State and local governments to work together to strengthen the health and wellbeing of communities and people.

The Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019 – 2023 sets ten priorities for public health and wellbeing in Victoria. Four of the ten priorities are designated as focus areas for additional attention across Victoria for the duration of the plan. The four focus areas are:

On-line guidance materials to support implementation of actions addressing the four focus areas of the plan are available for local government, early childhood services and schools, health and human services and workplaces.

Co-benefits of a healthy lifestyle for mental wellbeing

Through the municipal public health and wellbeing planning process, Councils will engage with their communities to identify immediate and future needs and ways to respond whilst reconciling this with the focus areas outlined in the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019–2023. A resource Co-benefits of a healthy lifestyle for mental wellbeing has been developed that summarises the co-benefits of action to address the four focus areas of the plan. It provides information to support Councils in the development of their next Municipal public health and wellbeing plan and to have regard to the focus areas.

Department of Families, Fairness and Housing Area staff work with Councils to support the development, implementation and review of their Municipal public health and wellbeing plans.

Reviewed 28 October 2021

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