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The role of Australian local governments in creating a healthy, sustainable and equitable food system

Results of a policy mapping study in New South Wales and Victoria
Food consumption Junk food Diet Food industry and trade Local government Nutrition Public health New South Wales Victoria

Transformation of the food system is required to ensure food security for an increasing global population within finite planetary and climate boundaries. While much attention has been paid to how state and national governments can influence food systems, less is known about the role of Australian local governments (LGs) in addressing these health, sustainability, and equity challenges.

This report provides a summary of a policy mapping study conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, and William Angliss Institute of TAFE (Melbourne).

Policy and strategic documents related to food system issues were collected from the websites of all LGs in New South Wales (NSW) (n = 128) and Victoria (n = 79) between July 2019 and June 2020. These policies were then analysed against a Framework of recommended policy actions for LGs to create a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system (see Appendix 1). This Framework included domains encompassing Health and Wellbeing, Sustainability and Environment, Economic Development, Food Waste, Food Quality and Safety, Social Policy, and Planning Frameworks.

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