State public health plan

The State Public Health Plan for Western Australia 2019 - 2024 (PDF 5MB) aims to guide State and Local Governments – and our many partners in public health – to work together and contribute towards influencing the health and wellbeing of all Western Australians.

This plan has been developed by the Chief Health Officer of the WA Department of Health in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission and numerous WA public health experts.

The plan provides high level strategic directions focusing on prevention, health promotion and health protection strategies that aim to prevent disease, illness, injury, disability and premature death in WA.

The plan establishes a vision for Western Australians, where we aspire for the people of WA to experience the best possible health, wellbeing and quality of life. This vision is supported by three objectives: 

Objective 1 - Empowering and enabling people to live healthy lives

Objective 2 - Providing health protection for the community

Objective 3 - Improving Aboriginal health and wellbeing


Message from the Chief Health Officer

Further information

For queries related to the State Public Health Plan please email publichealthact@health.wa.gov.au

The State Public Health Plan and local governments

Local governments commencing or continuing the public health planning process can consider the State Public Health Plan’s priorities and adapt them as necessary to reflect the particular public health risks prevailing in its local district.

Resources to support local government officers to develop a public health plan can be viewed on the public health planning page.

Although Part 5; public health planning of the Public Health Act 2016  is not yet a legal requirement, it is important that local governments start the process of embedding public health planning as a core function of business. 

Part 5 of the Public Health Act 2016 has been designed to complement the integrated planning process (external site) required under section 5.56 of the Local Government Act 1995 (external site), to support and drive ongoing improvements to the health and wellbeing of local communities. 

Partnership with the Health Service Providers, Population Health Unit

Local governments are not in this alone. There are numerous partnerships that can be made and great programs and initiatives to complement the work of local governments. 

Local governments are encouraged to partner with the Population Health Unit from the relevant Health Service Provider; North, South or East Metropolitan Health Service, the WA Country Health Services or the Child and Adolescent Health Services, who can provide a level of guidance with the planning process. This includes the provision of specific health data for use in health profile reports. 

How does local government impact public health?

Local governments have achieved huge gains in improving the health of communities by enforcing environmental health legislation, and initiating surveillance and risk assessment programs. This work has led to significant reductions in many diseases, illnesses and injuries across WA. It is important that these fundamental programs are documented as part of the public health planning process to ensure risks to the community continue to be identified and managed.

There are many other areas of public health that local governments are influencing that contribute to the health and wellbeing of their residents. This has included:

  • designing liveable neighbourhoods that make it easier for people to walk or cycle 
  • supporting community services and events that encourage social connectedness and inclusion 
  • creating activated spaces that encourage people to meet and interact and 
  • making sure the community is safe and injuries are prevented by providing lighting for streets and designing safe roads and intersections. 

All of these initiatives help to create the conditions that influence a person’s health and wellbeing at a local level.

Refer to public health planning for local governments for further information.