Local Government

PHAIWA recognises that local governments are the closest form of government to communities and provide vital and multi-functional organisations within local communities. In many rural and remote locations, the local government is often the major employer, landowner and purchaser of services.

Local governments provide many services to communities and also integrate the built environment and public health planning processes to ensure physical environments meet the needs of current and future generations.

PHAIWA, WALGA and MHC are currently developing  Alcohol Management Guidelines for Local Government.

PHAIWA has good links into local government and work closely with those Officers and Elected Members involved in the Public Health Planning processes.

For a list of all local governments in WA click here.

WALGA is the peak industry body for local government and advocates on behalf of 138 WA Local Governments and negotiates service agreements for the sector.

To access their website click here. 

The Public Health Act 2016 is a primary piece of legislation for WA local governments. You can download a copy here.

The Act requires that Local Governments to be responsible for a range of obligations including the appointment of designated officers to respond to health needs, general public health duties, public health planning and where appropriate, the preparation of public health assessments. It also requires all local governments to develop a Public Health Plan that reflects the public health needs and risks in their own community. Local government Public Health Plans need to align with the State Public Health Plan which was released in August 2019. The first State Public Health Plan for Western Australia 2019-2024 includes:

Part 1: A health status report for Western Australians. This section aims to examine public health trends in WA and identify areas of inequalities in particular population sub-groups and;

Part 2: Objectives and policy priorities 2019 – 2024. This section outlines the proposed public health objectives and policy priorities for WA for the next 5 years.

You can access a copy of the State Public Health Plan for Western Australia 2019-2024 here and find further information about the Plan here.

To assist local governments to develop a Public Health Plan, PHAIWA has developed a how to guide on how to develop a Public Health Plan under the Public Health Act 2016. It is available here.

In addition, in partnership with WALGA, PHAIWA and Stoneham and Associates, produced a series of case studies on WA local Governments who are leading the way in the development and implementation of Public Health Plans.

PHAIWA Projects and Resources

Public Health Planning in WA Local Governments – A series of case studies

To assist local governments understand how public health planning is progressing in WA, WALGA , Stoneham and Associates and PHAIWA developed a document showcasing a number of innovative WA Councils that have embarked on this process.

The aim of these case studies and the associated guidelines “Public Health Planning- A guide for WA Local Governments” is to provide guidance to local governments that wish to pursue this process.

The Councils that are showcased in this report include: •    City of Perth •    City of Vincent •    Shire of Kalamunda •    City of Mandurah •    Shire of Manjimup •    City of Greater Geraldton

To read the case studies, click here.

Managing Alcohol in Our Communities: A Guide for Local Government (MAIOC)

This resource is part of an ongoing collaborative Local Government Alcohol Project (LGAP) with the Mental Health Commission (formally Drug and Alcohol Office) since 2005. The project came about as a result of requests for information from Local Governments about evidence-based alcohol management options that could be considered for local use. This resource supersedes the Local Government Alcohol Management Package, 2007 and was developed by PHAIWA.

The guide is broken up into four parts:

• Part One – Background and Evidence

•  Part Two – Role of Local Government

• Part Three – Stages of Using MAIOC

• Part Four – Support Sheets and Tools

The guide also features a number of case studies and scenarios in WA local governments. This resource can be used by local government and stakeholders working in the area of alcohol.

To read the MAIOC guide, click here.

Other projects that PHAIWA runs alongside local governments include:

  • The Children’s Environment and Health Local Government Policy Awards. To find out more about this project click here.
  • Development of Alcohol Management Guidelines for Local Government (partnered with WALGA and MHC) – currently under development
  • Public health planning workshops
  • Public health survey of all WA local governments once every three years. Read more here.

Previous projects with local government include:

  • How to integrate injury prevention into local government business. Read about this project here.
  • Provision of small grants to promote smoke free public places in local governments.

Local Government Fact sheets

As part of our promoting partnerships series a number of fact sheets were developed to advise Local Governments on how they can use advocacy to assist them in a number of health areas. Each of the ‘Working with Local Governments – How advocacy can assist’ fact sheets can be found below.

Promoting Partnerships Series: Obesity

Promoting Partnerships Series: Non-Government Organisations

Promoting Partnerships Series: Injury

Promoting Partnerships Series: Indigenous Health

Promoting Partnerships Series: Drug and Alcohol