Healthy standards

11-07-2018 by admin

Ararat Rural City Council Mayor Paul HooperARARAT’S moves to tackle obesity and poor health as a community could soon be a formal model for rural Australia.

Central Highlands Councils Victorianamedreplicating Ararat’s healthy success as a top-five priority project for the region.

The group is pushing for $2.5 million state and federal government funding to test, demonstrate and evaluate how to shift cultural and social standards in a rural community from one that is largely sedentary to active and healthy.

Seven councils and shires banded together to presenttheir collective blueprint for the region to Victorian Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford on Monday.

The regional investment plan details 16 priority projects each municipality deems critical to target for funding that would best benefit the region.

Ararat mayor and group chairmanPaul Hooper said the strong collaboration was vital to achieve big transformation projects.

“We park our egos at the door,” he said.

“We know there is a lot of competition for scarce public resources.

“We can argue and advocate for projects to suit the region’s business and needs and explain together how each project is logic and relevant.”

Ararat has experienced a marked improvement as a direct result of its community-wide focus on health and well-being, according to the regional investment plan.

Average body mass index in Ararat has shifted with improved diet and physical activity in a focus on initiatives inworkplaces, schools and places people socialise.

The group has made clear this is an opportunity to develop research exploring the impact of community health and active living programs in Ararat that could be shared on.

Cr Hooper said the Ballarat Sports and Events Centre’s continued push for $10 million under the federal government’s national stronger regions fund was also important to Ararat.

The fully-developed stadium would feature six extra courts and a 3000-seat showcourt that would benefit talented Ararat juniors in taking their games to the next level via representative teams.

Cr Hooper said the centre also encouraged added tourism to the region that would flowon to Ararat.

The regional investment plan underpins lobbying for state and federal government funding in five key areas, including growing food and fibre industries, improved access and telecommunications, well-being, renewable energy and tourism.

The group’sregional investment plan launch builds on a team approach between the region’s councilsand shires before key politicians and advisers in Canberra earlier this year.

The group consists of delegates from Golden Plains, Moorabool, Northern Grampians, Hepburn and Pyrenees shires, Ararat Rural City, City of Ballarat and the Central Highlands Regional Planning Committee.

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