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Fran Baum: Policies For Health And Well-Being

  • Allan Scott Auditorium, BOB HAWKE PRIME MINISTERIAL CENTRE, UNI SA 55 North Terrace Adelaide Australia (map)

Policies for Health and Wellbeing

PROF. FRAN BAUM

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of SA and Wakefield Futures Group

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‘To what extent do the urban planning, energy and environment govern for health and wellbeing?’

Healthy societies result from good governance. Public policies are powerful in shaping population health to the extent to which they create environments that support health and wellbeing. This paper will describe research that has assessed the extent to which policies in the environment, urban planning and energy sector are supportive of health.

The research analysed a census of all Australian energy (N=132), urban planning (N=108) and environment (N=178) policies to determine whether and how their goals, objectives and strategies are likely to support health.

The policy analysis suggests that the policies are strong in terms of secondary and tertiary level interventions including the provision of subsidies, improved access to essential services for people living in geographically and/or socially disadvantaged areas, and climate change adaptation strategies. Fewer examples exist of proactive strategies to create environments that will promote health and equity. Some of the more positive examples will be discussed. The research found that the policies were not strong concerning the management of vested interests. There appears to be weak regulatory control of developers and ongoing commitment to coal-based industries, with little critique of the associated power relations, or of the potential health and wellbeing implications.

The paper will conclude with a discussion of the factors that are likely to underpin healthy public policy, including sound fiscal policy and a mandate for all sectors to consider the health and wellbeing impact of their activities.

This talk, presented by Professor Fran Baum is part of an event shared with Dr Jane O’Sullivan on exploring sustainable futures.

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of SA and Wakefield Futures Group

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