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Central Highlands Regional Partnership Highlights and Update


Over the past 18 months, much has been initiated and achieved by the Partnership in areas including health, community and social welfare, and new energy. Take a look at our story so far.


The Partnership is pushing ahead with the Prevention Lab project. But we’re also involved in other health projects in the region.

Development of a 10 Year Regional Sport, Recreation, Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
This project is auspiced by the City of Ballarat and has engagement with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), RDV, Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) and Parks Victoria, along with the broader Central Highlands community.

The focus of the strategy and action plan will be leveraging shared outcomes in health and well-being through increased physical activity (participation) and the development of physical activity environments including community sport and recreation infrastructure.

Objectives include to:

  • develop a shared vision for the development and activation of physical activity environments;
  • map existing infrastructure and initiatives;
  • map regional and local level participation data including levels, types and barriers to participation;
  • identify gaps and develop effective partnerships (community and government) to improve health and well-being outcomes for the region.

The Central Highlands Regional Partnership is helping fund the development of the strategy and has advocated for it, including to the Rural and Regional Ministerial Committee.  

Ballarat Innovation and Research Collaborative for Health (BIRCH).
BIRCH is a public and private hospital collaboration incorporating five universities, the health sector, industry and community groups, and will focus on research priorities identified by local health services. This project will result in expanded research and innovation capacity for the region.

BIRCH has the opportunity to grow jobs and improve the health of the region by focussing on translational research in acute, aged and integrated care. The development of a research collaboration will provide unique opportunities to utilise the translational research and evidence to inform innovative policy and system approaches to addressing the socioeconomic drivers of poor health outcomes.

The project has been supported by CHRP and we are continuing to liaise with St John of God Hospital and Ballarat Health Services to monitor the progress of this initiative.

Community and Social Welfare - Homelessness Initiative

Understanding and addressing homelessness in the Central Highlands is one of our key priorities and something we heard about from the community at our Regional Assemblies.

A working group is now in place including the Partnership, DHHS, RDV, DEWLP (the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning), Salvo Connect and Uniting Care.

A three-phased approach has been agreed which features:

  1. Data collection;
  2. A workshop based on data;
  3. An agreed pilot (based on the outcomes of 1 & 2).

Securing the support of DHHS and key sector partners is a positive first step to launching this project which now has cross department and, importantly, sector and community support.

These actions are designed to address concerns voiced by the community through the Regional Assemblies.

The Grampians Region: The Centre of the New Energy Future

The Central Highlands Regional Partnership has taken a lead role in bringing together a council of multiple organisations and State Government Departments to focus on our new energy future.

Grampians New Energy Taskforce (GNET) includes all 11 Grampians Local Government Areas, the Central Highlands and Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnerships, RDA Grampians, Wimmera Development Association and the Committee for Ballarat. DELWP (the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) is providing the secretariat for the GNET working group.

GNET is developing an accord between all parties to authorise and empower the group to represent the Grampians in future energy discussions. Project groups are actively working on a structure to maximise the economic and community benefits of investment and innovation in new and renewable energy initiatives for the region.

From a Central Highlands Partnership perspective, energy advocacy to government, and support for LGAs, continues on key regional projects including Hepburn Shire Council’s Waste to Energy, Ballarat Renewable Energy Training Centre and City of Ballarat BWEZ New Energy Future Package projects.

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