Local Government NSW aim to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities by:
- Promoting the profile of public health.
- Building the capacity of councils in this area.
- Encouraging the health impact be considered to improve quality of life for the whole community.
Public Health - Role of Local Government
Local Government has statutory responsibilities in health protection such as food safety, microbial control and blood borne disease control and capacity for significant involvement in health promotion to prevent chronic disease.
In addition to the statutory activities in public health, councils also undertake a range of other activities intended to protect and promote the health of communities, such as:
- The provision of food services.
- Sporting and recreational facilities and open space.
- Sun protection through shade provision.
- Water fluoridation.
- Promoting mental health.
- Promoting physical activity.
- Addressing overweight and obesity.
- Promoting safety and preventing injury.
- Preventing harm associated with alcohol and other drugs.
Councils also have a role in considering how planning the built environment can be undertaken in a way that promotes health.
A growing focus for councils is considering the social determinants of health and health inequity in communities.
In late 2004, we conducted a Local Government Public Health Survey (PDF, 1.23MB) to determine the activity at the Local Government level in health promotion and protection.