VicHealth is committed to building public policy for health in all sectors and at all levels of government. We work to influence policy and legislation, organisational practice and social norms in order to create physical, social, economic and natural environments that provide stronger foundations for health and health equity.

As part of this work we inform and support policy development and policy change, by providing evidence-based advice to government committees, independent inquiries and consultations. 

VicHealth writes many submissions each year, however the below listed are some key submissions relevant to VicHealth’s policy agenda. If you would like to find out VicHealth has contributed to a consultation not listed below, please get in touch.


Federal Treasury's Measuring What Matters Consultation View more

The Federal Government held a consultation on Budget Statement 4: Measuring What Matters which set an agenda to create a transformative and integrated approach to wellbeing. The consultation aims to develop a national framework to achieve better wellbeing outcomes for the Australian population now and into the future. VicHealth’s submission focused on the key components required to implement a truly integrated intergenerational wellbeing governance system highlighting the need to have strong indicators around environmental health, prevention of chronic disease, and the social determinants of health. VicHealth’s recommendations included the requirement for further consultation particularly with diverse cohorts and First Nations communities to ensure the domains and indicators captured their knowledge and priorities that would promote wellbeing.  

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Proposed reforms to the regulation of Nicotine Vaping Products View more

The Therapeutic Goods Administration held a consultation regarding proposed reforms to the regulation of Nicotine Vaping Products (NVPs). VicHealth’s submission focused on the dangers of NVPs to children and young people. VicHealth’s recommendations included stricter border control for both NVPs and non-nicotine vaping products, ensuring continued access to NVPs for smoking cessation as a last resort, and higher levels of minimum standards for NVPS including the restriction of flavours and additional packaging requirements.  

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Inquiry into the Protections within the Victorian Planning Framework View more

The Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council Environment and Planning Committee held an inquiry into the protection within the Victorian Planning Framework. VicHealth’s submission centred on the need to re-centre community and people’s health, wellbeing and local needs at the heart of the planning framework. Recommendations included the prioritisation of consultation with First Nations and CALD communities, a highlighting of the 20 minute neighborhood approach, and accessible infrastructure to make communities safe and enjoyable for all.  

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National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030 View more

The Australian Department of Health encouraged responses regarding the National Tobacco Strategy 2022-2030. VicHealth’s submission aligned with Quit Victoria’s submission, and recommendations included the creation of a single National Tobacco Act,  minimum licensing requirements of tobacco and e-cigarette retailers, and prevention and reduction of tobacco use and nicotine addiction. 

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Nutrition labelling about added sugars View more

Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (FSANZ) held a targeted stakeholder consultation on nutrition labelling about added sugars. VicHealth’s submission centered on the importance of this as an opportunity for FSANZ to prioritise public health and give clear guidance to consumers on added sugars.  

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Role and Functions of an Australian Centre for Disease Control View more

The Australian Government held a targeted consultation on the role and functions of a Centre for Disease Control. VicHealth’s response highlighted the importance of an Australian CDC being comprehensive, independent and agile. VicHealth recommended a strong focus on prevention as a core function of the CDC to stem the epidemic of chronic disease.  

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National Obesity Prevention Strategy View more

VicHealth’s submission supported the National Obesity Preventative Strategy as a fundamental tool to address overweight and obesity in Australia. Recommendations included the inclusion of a strong focus on changes to the environment, strategies that address broader determinants of health and multisectoral actions beyond the health system, strong targets that align with the National Preventative Health Strategy and a national governance committee to oversee implementation led by health ministers.  

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National Preventive Health Strategy View more

The National Preventative Health Strategy was opened to consultation in 2021. VicHealth’s submission centred on the importance of a vision of health that focused on positive health and wellbeing through the promotion of wellbeing (beyond just physical health), as well as noting the need to promote protective factors alongside addressing risk factors.  Recommendations included increased investment in prevention, environments that support healthy living, and ensuring an equity lens in implementation.  

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Policy Guidance for Menu Labelling in Australia and New Zealand View more

The Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (FSANZ)'s review of fast-food menu labelling opened for consultation and commentary. VicHealth’s Response recommended the provision of consistent energy information at the point of sale to allow consumers to make informed choices about their purchases.   

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Review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 - draft Regulatory Impact Statement View more

The FSANZ Act Review was held in 2020 as a comprehensive examination of the effectiveness of the FSANZ Act. VicHealth submitted a response to the stakeholder consultation. VicHealth's submission centres on the importance of the RIS to engage primary objectives of protecting public health, specifically long-term health and preventable diet related diseae. Further VicHealth recommended the amendment of the RIS to recognise the importance of provision of adequate information to enable consumers to make informed choices. 

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Ad Tech Inquiry View more

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission held a consultation on the interim report for the Digital Advertising Services Inquiry. VicHealth's response centred on concerns with regard to advertising from 'harmful industries' (eg. Gambling, alcohol, unhealthy food and beverage) and the influence this has on minors and youth. Recommendations from VicHealth’s submission include the final report emphasising the impact on children and at-risk Australians, the protection of children’s data, and the creation of a mandatory reporting system for advertising techniques used by harmful industries. 

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Victorian Government Adaptation Action Plan Consultation View more

The Victorian Government developed Adaptation Action Plans (AAPs) and gave VicHealth the opportunity to respond. VicHealth’s submission highlighted the need for an equity lens, the adoption of social determinants of health and systems thinking, community engagement, self-determination for First Nations communities and the inclusion of mental wellbeing into modals of health. 

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VicHealth’s response to the inquiry into Australia’s creative and cultural industries and institutions View more

The Federal Government's Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts held an inquiry into Australia's creative and cultural industries and institutions, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, regional, rural and community-based organisations. VicHealth's submission focused on the health and wellbeing benefits of arts participation, and recognised the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in highlighting existing inequities in arts participation and health and wellbeing outcomes. VicHealth's recommendations included improved measurement and mapping of the practice and scope of creative and cultural industries, improved coordination mechanisms between layers of government and development of a National Arts and Culture Plan. 

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Consultation on the Victorian LGBTIQ Strategy View more

The Victorian Government held a consultation to inform its development of Victoria's LGBTIQ+ Strategy. The Strategy aims to guide the Victorian Government’s efforts to achieve equality for LGBTIQ+ communities over the next decade. VicHealth's submission provided recommendations to strengthen proposed focus areas, such as alcohol, tobacco, physical activity and sport and primary prevention of family violence. It also suggested additional focus areas, such as young people and employment, masculinities and heterosexuality and homophobia, and the arts, cultural and creative industries. 

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Consultation on the Victorian Youth Strategy View more

The Victorian Government held a consultation to inform its development of a new Victorian Youth Strategy. VicHealth recommended a strengthened focus on primary prevention, with specific actions related to mental wellbeing, alcohol, tobacco, healthy eating, physical activity, education, employment, the arts, youth engagement and research evaluation. 

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Creative State 2021-2025 View more

The Victorian Government held a consultation to inform the development of Creative State 2021-2025, the Victorian Government's strategy to strengthen and grow the state's creative industries and the value they bring to Victorians. VicHealth's submission focused on harnessing the capacity of the arts and creative approaches to promote Victorians’ physical and mental health and wellbeing. This included removing existing barriers to participation, and using the arts to support community cohesion and inclusion and influence knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to promote health and wellbeing.

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Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System View more

The Victorian Government is holding a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. VicHealth’s submission calls for the recognition of the primary prevention of mental ill health and the promotion of mental wellbeing as core pillars of the Victorian mental health system. It recommends a focus on the social determinants of mental health and wellbeing and risk and protective factors for mental ill health, as well as prioritising children and young people for interventions. It also calls for increased and strengthened investment and infrastructure. VicHealth will continue to have input to the Royal Commission as it progresses.

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Attachment 1 and Attachment 2

Productivity Commission into Mental Health View more

The Productivity Commission held an inquiry to examine the effect of mental health on people’s ability to participate in and prosper in the community and workplace, and the effects it has more generally on our economy and productivity. VicHealth and Prevention United brought together the coalition of leading experts across the health and social sectors to develop a joint submission to the inquiry. It focused on the effectiveness of primary prevention approaches, particularly when linked to the prevention of closely related co-morbid conditions such as chronic disease, alcohol and substance misuse, and problem gambling.

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National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces View more

The Australian Human Rights Commission held an inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian Workplaces. VicHealth’s submission focused on the extent and nature of sexual harassment in workplaces, the drivers of harassment, and promising approaches for the primary prevention of sexual harassment – that is, stopping harassment before it starts. 

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National Alcohol Strategy View more

The Australian Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum held a consultation on its draft National Alcohol Strategy 2018–2026. VicHealth’s response supported the priority areas outlined in the draft strategy, and emphasised the need to immediately implement priorities to reform pricing and taxation, advertising and availability. It also called for a robust monitoring and evaluation framework that measured changes in behaviours, perceptions and attitudes across all population groups and jurisdictions.

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Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia View more

The Commonwealth Government established a Senate Select Committee to inquire into obesity in Australia. VicHealth’s submission to the inquiry provided key facts and statistics, as well as recommendations that focused on the underlying causes of obesity, including the role of the food industry and government regulators. It referred to the recommendations of Tipping the Scales, an Australian Obesity Prevention Consensus, which was endorsed by 35 public health organisations.

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Senate Committee inquiry into the UN Sustainable Development Goals View more

The Australian Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade held a parliamentary inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. VicHealth’s submission called for greater focus on preventive health and health promotion; implementation of the Regional action plan on health promotion in the Sustainable Development Goals 2018–2030; greater collaboration between World Health Organization Collaborating Centres and the Australian Government; and improved SDG implementation monitoring at the state level.


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Victorian Government sport and recreation plan View more

The Victorian Government held a consultation to inform the development of Active Victoria – A strategic framework for sport and recreation in Victoria 2017–2021. VicHealth’s submission emphasised the changing needs and expectations of Victorians, the potential of urban spaces to promote physical activity, and the opportunity to promote healthy food and beverage choices in sports facilities. It also discussed the barriers to participation in some groups, including women and girls, and new opportunities in non-organised sport and recreation. 

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Commonwealth Parliamentary Inquiry into the use and marketing of electronic cigarettes and personal vaporisers View more

The Commonwealth House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport conducted an inquiry into the use and marketing of electronic cigarettes and personal vaporisers (ECPVs) in Australia. VicHealth’s submission recommended a rigorous regulatory framework for ECPV research, use and promotion. It called for continued investment in research to explore the likely effectiveness of ECPVs as a smoking cessation aid, and to target this research at population groups that find it most difficult to quit smoking using current methods. 

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Health Stars Review View more

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation’s conducted a review of the Health Star Rating (HRS) System. The HSR system is a front-of-pack labelling scheme intended to assist consumers in making healthier diet choices. VicHealth’s submission recommended that the HSR system become mandatory and be extended to non-packaged food, and that a consumer education campaign be implemented to promote the system and its purpose. VicHealth also recommended that the ‘as prepared’ rule be reviewed, and that the system’s treatment of added sugar be amended.

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National Sports Plan View more

The Australian Government held a consultation to inform its new National Sports Plan. VicHealth’s submission focused on broadening the definition of sport to include social and non-organised sport and physical activity, and using sport and its facilities as a setting to improve health and wellbeing, including preventing risk factors such as gender inequality, exclusion, alcohol harm, tobacco and unhealthy eating.

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Bicycle Victoria mandatory helmet policy View more

Bicycle Network held a review into their position on whether bike helmets should be mandatory. VicHealth’s submission acknowledged the importance of cycling for meeting physical activity needs, particularly for children, and as a form of active transport. It recognised that cyclists are currently inherently at risk when riding in traffic, as high traffic volumes and high traffic speeds are among several factors that can increase the risk of crash and injury for cyclists, and increase the likelihood that traffic safety will present a barrier to children being allowed to cycle.

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Commonwealth Parliamentary Inquiry into domestic violence and gender inequality View more

The Commonwealth Government conducted a Parliamentary Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality. VicHealth’s submission highlighted the importance of prioritising primary prevention of violence against women at a national level, by focusing on gender inequality as an underlying driver, and promoting respectful relationships and resilience. It also recommended the full implementation of the national framework for action, Change the Story, and outlined a range of initiatives showing promise in the primary prevention of violence against women.

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Victorian Government Gender Equality Strategy consultation View more

The Victorian Government conducted consultations to gather input into Safe and strong: Victoria’s gender equality strategy. VicHealth provided a written submission that outlined the health and wellbeing impacts of gender (in)equality, and highlighted the opportunity to provide a platform that prioritised three key areas: safety and violence against women; economic participation; and participation in sport and physical activity. It also noted the need for strengthened coordination and monitoring of equality indicators. 

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Victorian Government Liquor Control Reform Act review View more

The State Government is conducting a review into the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (LCRA), with its terms of reference including assessment the effectiveness of the LCRA’s harm minimisation measures, including the degree to which they can play a part in minimising the incidence of family violence. VicHealth’s submission to the review outlined the devastating social and health harms caused by alcohol, particularly the role of alcohol as a reinforcing factor in the incidence of family violence. We advocated for legislative change to ensure the LCRA protects Victorians from alcohol-related harm from others, particularly through the regulation of packaged liquor outlets and the promotion of alcohol.

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FSANZ labelling review View more

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) held a consultation on food labelling which looked whether food product’s nutrition information panel needed to declare the amount of nutrients per serve if a daily intake claim wasn’t made. VicHealth recommended that at a minimum the per serving nutrition information continued to be mandatory. The submission noted that VicHealth considered the then current nutrition information panel system to be an inadequate mechanism, and that a front-of-pack interpretive food labelling system should be fully implemented.

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Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry View more

The Victorian Government reopened the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry in 2015/16 to examine a range of issues, including measures to improve the health and wellbeing of residents of the Latrobe Valley. VicHealth’s submission to the inquiry outlined a range of strategies that could potentially be implemented in the region, and advocated for a coordinated and comprehensive health promotion response that addresses the social determinants of health and health inequities. The Inquiry’s 2016 Health Improvement Report confirmed the need for this approach, and called for the Victorian Government and health and other sectors to work together on new community-generated solutions. In 2016–19 VicHealth will support this work under our ‘community’ key theme for action.

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Royal Commission into Family Violence View more

The Victorian Government established the Royal Commission into Family Violence in 2015 to address the scale and impact of family violence in Victoria. Its terms of reference included a focus on preventing the occurrence of family violence, an area that VicHealth has worked in for the past 15 years. VicHealth’s submission to the Royal Commission emphasised the need for a primary prevention approach that addresses the underlying social determinants of violence against women and improves gender equality. The Royal Commission’s final recommendations affirmed this approach, as well as our call for sustained investment in primary prevention coordination and activity. VicHealth’s action to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women in 2016–19 under our ‘gender’ key theme for action supports the efforts of the Victorian Government and our partners to implement the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

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Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan View more

The State Government released a consultation paper for the development of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015–19. VicHealth strongly supported the approach outlined in the consultation paper, particularly the emphasis on addressing the social determinants of health and health inequities. VicHealth’s response highlighted the importance of a whole-of-government approach that engages civil society, industry and non-government organisations, as well as considerations around the Plan’s objectives and outcomes measures. VicHealth’s action in 2016–19 strongly aligns to the Plan’s objectives and strategies, with our work complementing that of the State Government across our strategic imperatives.

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Senate Select Committee on Health View more

The Australian Senate established the Select Committee on Health in June 2014 to inquire into and report on health policy, administration and expenditure. VicHealth provided a submission to the Committee that highlighted the importance of significant and sustainable investment in health promotion, prevention and early intervention. The submission also recommended that the Commonwealth Government continue and strengthen its leadership role in preventive health, and undertake action to address the social determinants of health and health inequities. 

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