Active transport included in the Community Health and Wellbeing Plan

Kirsten Beckingham
City of Armadale

In July 2019, the WA Department of Health released the State Public Health Plan for Western Australia: Objectives and Policy Priorities for 2019 – 2024 (WA Plan). This WA Plan provides guidance to State and Local Governments and other public health partners on how to work together to contribute towards influencing the health and wellbeing of all Western Australians. This WA Plan coincides with an amendment (Part 5) to the Public Health Act 2016, to make public health plans mandatory for every local government in WA. In the future, Part 5 of the Public Health Act 2016 will be legislated and will support and drive ongoing improvements to the health and wellbeing of local communities.

During the development of the Public Health Act 2016, community health and wellbeing was recognised and endorsed as a core responsibility of local governments which needs to be viewed as an ongoing requirement.

As a local government, the City contributes to community health and wellbeing in many ways including providing waste management, footpaths and cycle paths, smoke and alcohol free environments, recreational facilities, safe food and drinking water, and providing health information and education programs.

The Community Health and Wellbeing Plan 2021 – 2024 (CHWP) was developed using an evidence based framework, supported by a sound understanding and acknowledgement of the many factors in our environments and suburbs that affect health and wellbeing.

The development of the CHWP involved an extensive consultation process which reached over 1,000 people, 147 staff and 19 stakeholder organisations. The process included strategic alignment to identify existing health priorities within the City, a review of resident’s demographics and health and wellbeing status, involvement of City of Armadale staff to identify local health risks, and advice from key stakeholder organisations on issues affecting their clients and communities. Additionally, when developing the CHWP, the State Public Health Plan was used as a guiding document to ensure this Plan aligned with the Public Health Act 2016.

Community consultation for the plan collected 1,047 valid surveys to support the development of the objectives, strategies and actions. Collated results from these surveys identified the ‘Walking and cycling paths’ listed by the community as the third most important area to the health of themselves and their community.

When asked about barriers to being more physically active in the City, one of the most common answers from the survey results was ‘Lack of footpaths and cycle paths’.

When asked what could support residents to be more active in the City, two of the most common answers from the survey results was ‘More trail routes and maps’ and ‘More cycling and walking paths’.

The above data, in addition to community consultation with staff and stakeholder organisations resulted in the development of the following actions and their relevant expected outcomes. These demonstrate the City’s commitment to improving community health and wellbeing, specifically in relation to increasing physical activity and active transport.

Support local schools to implement initiatives that promote healthy eating and physical activity

Expected outcome:

  • Aim to reduce traffic related issues at new schools within the City and encourage incorporating daily physical activity by supporting schools to sign up to the Department of Transport’s Your Move program.
  • Prioritise co-locating new schools with Public Open Space (POS) to encourage physical activity in children and shared use.

Support and encourage residents to participate in physical activity.

Expected outcome:

  • Investigate feasibility of designing maps of parks and reserves facilities, outdoor fitness equipment, cycle paths and trails within the City to assist in promoting physical activity.

Develop the Integrated Transport Strategy with inclusions to support active transport in the community through upgrading and connecting footpaths and cycle paths and encouraging public transport.

Expected outcome:

  • External funding secured through grants and partnership development to support upgrades to infrastructure and initiatives that encourage active transport through the use of local footpaths and cycle paths.

Integrate health and wellbeing components into the designing of new and upgraded facilities.

Expected outcome:

  • New and upgraded facilities are designed to include features that support and promote active transport arrival, shade provision and have an inclusive and accessible design.

For more information about the City’s Community Health and Wellbeing Plan 2021 – 2024, please visit the City’s website here:

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James (Your Move)

That is such a great outcome Kirsten! Not only is it wonderful to see that the community really values good walking/cycling infrastructure, but excellent to see all those active travel related outcomes for schools, community and the City as a workplace. We don't have an official Your Move activity for this, but I have given you 40 points for including AT in this important plan and 20 point for a detailed and informative story. 😊

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