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$1 million for South Australian Healthy Towns Challenge launched in Port Pirie

State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall today launched the South Australian Healthy Towns Challenge policy – a $1 million investment in preventative healthcare.

The South Australian Healthy Towns Challenge is part of a broader preventative health policy: Better Prevention – A Healthy South Australia, which will support community-wide health and prevention services, to help reduce the burden of disease, improve health outcomes, and get better value for health expenditure.

“I’m delighted to be in Port Pirie to announce that a Marshall Liberal Government will establish the South Australian Healthy Towns Challenge to empower local communities to drive better health initiatives in their own areas,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Each year, five towns will be provided with $50,000 for a project to have measurable and immediate benefits to the community’s health and wellbeing.

“All towns within the Country Health SA region will be eligible to participate in the Challenge, with applications to be made in partnership with a non-government organisation, such as the Cancer Council, Heart Foundation or a university.

Projects will be limited only by the creativity of the communities but could include:

· Subsidising health coaching for prospective mothers (e.g. weight, smoking);

· Providing skin cancer screening at a Field Day;

· Delivering workplace based suicide prevention programs;

· Providing community based sporting equipment; or

· Installing drinking stations on walking and cycling routes.

Steven Marshall discussed the program with the Port Pirie Regional Council, recognising the local health issues highlighted by Council’s Regional Public Health Plan 2014-19. For example, the Plan shows that women smoking during pregnancy at twice the rate compared to other parts of the state.

“Real transformation in health comes when we support people to stay healthy, not wait until they are sick,” said Mr Marshall.

“A Marshall Liberal Government will put the wellbeing of South Australians first – at every stage of their lives.”