Survey spells out local problems

By Tyla Harrington

CAMPASPE Shire mayor Adrian Weston hopes a new survey will have a healthy impact on his shire’s unhealthy habits — some of which are the worst in the state.

The Healthy Heart of Victoria 2019 Active Living Census was launched in Bendigo on Wednesday and can be completed online at from May 20 until June 16. It will be delivered to more than 117,000 homes in the Loddon Campaspe region in late May.

And Cr Weston hopes it will combat the region’s higher rates of smoking and poorer diet behaviours.

‘‘Our region has high levels of heart disease, obesity and cancers which could be prevented by living a healthier lifestyle,’’ Cr Weston said.

‘‘People can be active in lots of different ways. It’s not just about those who participate in organised sport. Through the census we want to find out what people do to stay active, what stops them from being active and what would it take for them to become more active.

‘‘The findings from the census will be used to produce an overarching report for the Loddon Campaspe region and individual reports for each of the six local government areas.’’

Cr Weston said no other region in Australia would have this type of data: ‘‘Therefore it will put Loddon Campaspe in a powerful position to advocate for the region’s needs,’’ he said. ‘‘It will be a powerful tool for supporting projects that provide better future outcomes and help drive ongoing change in our region.

‘‘It’s an exciting initiative for our region because it will help local councils, health agencies, sporting clubs and government departments to better plan, develop and enhance recreational facilities and health promotion services to improve the future health and wellbeing of our local communities.’’

The City of Greater Bendigo was the first Australian council to undertake the census in 2014 which was completed by an impressive 16 per cent of the population.

Importantly, the census provided the hard data which helped secure funding for a range of major recreational and health and wellbeing projects — including a network of local walking trails, water fountains and local health improvement programs.

The Healthy Heart of Victoria 2019 Active Living Census will be backed by an extensive marketing campaign.

A total of $12,000 in prizes, including gift cards and sporting equipment, are up for grabs for those who complete the census with extra incentives provided for those who complete it online.