- The Local Government Report Card Project
The Children’s Environment and Health Local Government Report Card Project originated following the Environment and Health Advocacy Forum – an event organised by the PHAIWA in March 2009. The Environment and Health Advocacy Committee was formed following the Forum and has 22 members from across Western Australia. One of the Committee’s first duties was to prioritise the advocacy consensus targets developed from the Forum. The area of children’s environment and health was allocated the highest priority. Subsequently a range of ideas focusing on how to advocate for improved children’s environment and health were canvassed and it was agreed that targeting the local government sector would be most suitable given that many of the settings where children congregate come under the jurisdiction of local government.
Why a report card?
Although report cards have not been used often to assess policy, they have proven to be effective in evaluating program quality, promoting program improvement and informing and advocating for programs in many settings including schools, urban planning and health services. This project employs the report card as an innovative advocacy tool that acts as both an effective evaluation mechanism of local government corporate strategy and an instrument to promote positive change in the local government sector.
15 Metropolitan and 11 Regional Local Governments participated in the 6th edition of the project an increase of 6 from the previous year.
The City of Cockburn was awarded with The Best in WA also winning Climate Change, Promoting Healthy Behaviours and Shade in Public Places and receiving a commendable mention for the Children’s Consultation category.
The regional award was presented to the Shire of Collie for the second year running along with winning the Road and Active Transport and Planning Healthy Communities categories.
- Overall Metropolitan Winner for 2016 Best in WA: Overall Regional Winner for 2016: Shire of Collie
- The City of Cockburn
A total of 20 Local Governments participated in the project in 2015 with 12 from regional areas.
The Best in WA was presented to The City of Armadale who also won the Aboriginal Child Health category and received commendable mentions for the Healthy and Safe Food and Smoke free Environments categories.
The Regional winner was the Shire of Collie, who were also presented with the Healthy and Safe Food category and a commendation for Children’s Consultation and Environments Promoting Physical Activity.
- Overall Metropolitan Winner for 2015 Best in WA: Overall Regional Winner for 2015: Shire of Collie
- The City of Armadale
In 2014, 22 submissions were received including 11 of those from regional Local Governments.
The City of Wanneroo was awarded the Metropolitan Best in WA, also winning the Child Friendly Planning Approaches and Healthy Eating categories and received a commendation for the Stimulating Learning Environments category.
The Regional award went to the Shire of Merredin who also won the Food Safety and Security category and received a commendation for Road and Pedestrian Safety and Healthy Eating.
A total of 20 submissions were received in 2013, 13 metropolitan and 7 from regional areas. The Best in WA was awarded to the City of Cockburn with the City also announced the winner for the Childcare Design and Placement, Smoke free Environments, Prevention of Disease and Child Health and Development categories. Second place went to the City of Subiaco who won the Nature Discovery category and received commendations for Environments Supportive of Physical Activity for Children, Road and Pedestrian Safety, Food Safety and Security and Child Health and Development.
The Shire of Chapman Valley and the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup shared first place for the Best Regional Shire with Coolgardie coming in second place. The Shire of Chapman Valley was announced the winner for Stimulating Learning Environments with Donnybrook-Balingup winning the category for Outdoor Air quality.
The Report Card project was re-launched in 2012 with a continued emphasis on evaluating children’s environment and health strategies at the Local Government level.
The City of Rockingham was awarded The Best in WA, also winning individual categories of Environments Supportive of Physical Activity, Housing Density/Affordability and Healthy Eating.
The Shire of Plantagenet won the regional award as well as the Nature Discovery category.
- Best in WA Metropolitan and Regional winners 2012: City of Rockingham and Shire of Plantagenet
The first Report Card project received 19 submissions, five of these from rural Local Governments. After a thorough evaluation process the City of Subiaco was judged the inaugural winner of the ‘Best of WA’ award, while the Shire of Dardanup took out the rural award. An awards ceremony featuring WALGA President, Mayor Troy Pickard, was held in October to acknowledge the participating Local Governments, and a showcase document was published to highlight the more innovative and effective strategies identified during the project.
WA Today Article, published October 12 2016