Local Government

The Role of Local Councils in Promoting Healthy Lifestyles


NSW local councils have an important role to play in promoting and supporting healthy and active lifestyles.

Being active and healthy is good for our health and our economy. It has real benefits for both communities and individuals. Healthy communities are more connected, participate more in community activities, are more productive and reduce the environmental impacts of car dependence. Active living and healthy eating also help to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, some cancers, depression and falls. 

Local councils can support healthy and active lifestyles in a number of ways including:

  • Direct action including the provision of infrastructure and services (perhaps in partnership), eg. road construction, operation of recreation facilities, waste collection services, water supply (in some cases).
  • Regulation of private activities eg. land-use planning, community land activities, food inspections, enforcement powers.
  • Persuasion (including incentives), education and advocacy.


Using Local Councils' Integrated Planning & Reporting Framework to Promote Healthy and Active Living


The Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) framework recognises that most communities share similar aspirations: a safe, healthy and pleasant place to live, a sustainable environment, opportunities for social interaction, opportunities for employment and reliable infrastructure.  It is local councils’ principal planning and reporting tool.  

Through the inclusion of active living and healthy eating as goals/objectives in the Community Strategic Plan, strategies and actions can cascade down through the IP&R framework, prompting councils to co-ordinate activities to support healthy and active lifestyles across traditional functional areas.

In 2012, the NSW Premier's Council for Active Living (PCAL) prepared a resource to provide guidance to local councils (and other interested parties) on how they can promote community health and well-being by addressing active living and healthy eating priorities and actions as they implement, monitor and review their Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) frameworks.

This resource is now being managed by Active Living NSW.  You can access the resource at:



Local Council Workshops


In 2017-18, Active Living NSW will be holding a series of Sydney metro and regional workshops to assist local councils to incorporate active living and healthy eating priorities and actions into their Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) frameworks


Find out more about these workshops here.


You can view information and presentations from the 2016 PCAL workshops here.


Local Government Resources


(coming soon)