Regional Public Health planning and implementation

Local Government Relations and Policy works with local councils, the Local Government Association (LGA) and our public health partners to build the public health planning system.

This occurs through:

  • liaison, support and information to Councils and planning clusters
  • analysis of plans to identify common areas of action
  • development of support resources
  • Building awareness of public health more broadly

Regional Public Health Plans (RPHPs)

Sections 51 and 52 of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 require each local councils in SA 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 Councils chose to plan alone and 48 Councils chose to plan regionally (ranging from groups of 2 to 8 Councils). 31 RPHPs were developed for the first five-year cycle of planning under the Act (12 metropolitan and 19 regional plans), and these commenced over a two-year period from 2014 to 2016.


Section 51(19) of the Act requires that, once prepared and in place, the plan 'must be reviewed at least once in every 5 years’. Specifically, the Act requires councils to reflect on circumstances that may have changed since the RPHP was made or last reviewed. This is the first review of RPHPs to be triggered under the Act. At 30 June 2019, most councils were due, or were soon to be due, for a review of their RPHP consistent with the Act’s requirements.

The review of a RPHP is an opportunity for councils to reflect on whether the RPHP is meeting its objectives, taking into account learnings from the first RPHP, assessment of local priorities, demand, and capabilities to deliver.

Reviewing your Council’s Regional Public Health Plan has been developed by SA Health for all councils working through the process to review their Regional Public Health Plan (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 RPHP (2013/14-2018/19), the Local Government Association and SA Health have collaborated to deliver the Guide to Regional Public Health Planning (2019) to assist councils in preparing and maintaining your RPHP.  The Guide outlines scope and principles for public health planning, processes and components of good planning practice, to support greater consistency amongst SA Councils.  The Guide is also available to Local Government Association members website.

Further information

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