Regional Public Health planning and implementation

Local Government Relations and Policy, Health Protection & Licensing Services, SA Health, works with local councils, the Local Government Association of South Australia (LGA) and our public health partners to build the public health planning system.

This occurs through:

  • liaison, support and information to local councils and planning clusters;
  • analysis of plans to identify common areas of action;
  • development of support resources; and
  • building awareness of public health more broadly.

Regional Public Health Plans (RPHPs)

Sections 51 and 52 of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 (the Act) require each local council in South Australia to prepare, maintain and report on a Regional Public Health Plan (RPHP) that is consistent with the State Public Health Plan and responds to public health challenges within their local area or region.

In the first phase of public health planning in South Australia, 20 local councils chose to develop their own individual plan, and 48 local councils chose to plan regionally (ranging from groups of two to 8 local councils). A total of 31 RPHPs (12 metropolitan and 9 regional plans) were developed for the first five-year cycle of planning under the Act, and these commenced over a two-year period from 2014 to 2016, covering periods to 30 June 2020.

Regional Public Health Plan Reporting for the 2020 – 2022 period

Local council reports on the implementation of their Regional Public Health Plans 2020-2022 for the two-year period 1 July 2020–30 June 2022, are due to be submitted to the Chief Public Health Officer on or before 30 September 2022.

Each local council in South Australia must prepare, maintain and report on a RPHP that is consistent with the State Public Health Plan 2019-2024 (PDF 1MB) and responds to public health challenges within their local area or region. Reports cover a two-year period 1 July – 30 June, and are due to the Chief Public Health Officer on or before 30 September in each reporting year. Reporting Guidelines and a discretionary reporting template are available to assist councils with this reporting requirement. These resources can be downloaded: Guideline for reporting Regional Public Health Plans 2020-2022 (PDF 323KB) & 2020-2022 Section 52 Reporting Discretionary Template (XLSX 18KB).

Regional Public Health Plans review

Section 51(19) of the Act requires that, once prepared and in place, the RPHP 'must be reviewed at least once in every 5 years’. Specifically, the Act requires local councils to reflect on circumstances that may have changed since their RPHP was made or last reviewed. This is the first review of RPHPs to be triggered under the Act. The review of a RPHP is an opportunity for councils to reflect on whether their RPHP is meeting its objectives, taking into account learnings from the first RPHP, assessment of local priorities, demand, and capabilities to deliver.

At 30 June 2022, most councils have completed a review of their RPHP consistent with the Act’s requirements.

The Reviewing your Council’s Regional Public Health Plan Fact Sheet (PDF 452KB) was developed by SA Health for all councils working through the process to review their RPHP. It describes requirements under the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 (the Act) for maintaining and reviewing your RPHP and identifies the key questions, possible areas of focus, and processes to consider in conducting a review of an RPHP.

Guide to Regional Public Health Planning

Informed by council feedback and learnings from the first tranche of RPHPs (2013/14-2018/19), the Local Government Association of South Australia and SA Health collaborated to deliver the Guide to Regional Public Health Planning (2019) (PDF 4.88MB), to assist councils in preparing and maintaining their RPHPs. The Guide outlines the scope and principles for public health planning, processes and components of good planning practice, to support greater consistency amongst South Australian local councils. The Guide is also available on the Local Government Association members website.

Further information

For further information, please contact the Local Government Relations and Policy Team on: