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Latrobe City Victoria, Australia

Application for Reaccreditation

as a

World Health Organisation

‘Safe Community’ (First accredited 24th February 1996)

February 2006

Latrobe World Health Organisation ‘Safe Community’ Reaccreditation Application February 2006. Page 1

Application Cover

Profile of Latrobe

Community Safety History

Indicators of Safe Communities Response: One

Indicator Two Indicator Three Indicator Four Indicator Five Indicator Six

Page 1 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5

Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10


Latrobe World Health Organisation ‘Safe Community’ Reaccreditation Application February 2006. Page 2

Profile of Latrobe

Latrobe City is centrally located in eastern Victoria, South East Australia. It is approximately one hundred and thirty kilometres to the east of Melbourne along the dual carriage way of the Princes Highway. The City has four major urban centres located at Moe, Morwell, Traralgon and Churchill, with smaller townships of Boolarra, Glengarry, Toongabbie, Tyers, Traralgon South, Yallourn North, and Yinnar.

With a population of approximately 70,000 people, Latrobe City encompasses an area of some 1,422 square kilometres. The region is a resource rich area, with abundant forest and brown coal resources, water resources, and rich agricultural land.

Taking its name from the Administrator and later Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Victoria, Charles Joseph La Trobe, the area is a culturally diverse and vibrant community with a proud history of innovation and visionary development.

Latrobe City is one of Australia’s major provincial centres and is the principal service centre for the Gippsland region. Located within Latrobe are regional headquarters for significant government and private organisations, education centres, such as Monash University Gippsland, Central Gippsland Institute of

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Technical And Further Education and Gippsland Group Training. Other major industries in the area include Australian Paper at Maryvale, the Australian Securities Commission’s National Information Processing Centre and Victoria’s four major power generators. Electricity generated from brown coal mined in the area represents 85% of all electricity generated in the State of Victoria.

Latrobe City is serviced by world class health services, major shopping centres together with a range of accommodation options, restaurants, cinema and night clubs.

Latrobe City has become the hospitality and sporting centre of Gippsland, with higher order sporting facilities for tennis, athletics, swimming, and team sports, leisure centres and outstanding regional tourism attractions including the Latrobe Regional Gallery and Latrobe Performing Arts Centre.

Latrobe City has determined its priorities and has a clear direction for a sustainable and prosperous future, which will be achieved by working in partnership with its community and other levels of government, business and commercial interests. Part of this future includes our continued commitment to our World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘Safe Community’ agreement.

Community Safety History

Some of the earliest work on safety promotion in Latrobe City dates from the1950’s when the Morwell Safe Town group initiated prevention of alcohol and related road trauma.

As a result of the findings of the Latrobe Valley Health Study (Health Department Victoria and released in 1990) a community based Injury prevention intervention, funded by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) was initiated in 1992. The Latrobe Valley Better Health Project focussed on major causes of injury as identified and evaluated by Monash University Accident Research Centre at Clayton, Victoria.

The Better Health project was based on a community intervention model similar to that of early Swedish Safe Community programs. In early 1996 the Better Health ‘Safe Community’ program was accredited as the 15th WHO ‘Safe Community’ during the 5th International WHO ‘Safe Communities’ Conference hosted by Hume and Latrobe Cities on the 24th February 1996. On 1st July of that year the program moved into the restructured (1994) Local Government Authority of La Trobe Shire (which was proclaimed Latrobe City on 4th April 2000).

Having achieved significant reductions in a variety of injury presentations at Latrobe Regional Hospital (Day et al, Monash University July 1997, Report 114) the program expanded to include a range of related safety interventions in the municipality during the decade 1996-2006. Some of these are described

Latrobe World Health Organisation ‘Safe Community’ Reaccreditation Application February 2006. Page 4

in this application to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Safety Promotion.

Without the significant investment by the local community and groups, including the City, VicHealth, local Health Services, local businesses and Government Departments the success in promoting the safety of people in Latrobe would not have been possible.

There are a number of individuals who have added significantly to this success and their efforts are acknowledged in the importance that community partnerships play in making our community a safer place in which to live, play, work and learn.

The primary purpose of the program is to develop, implement and maintain effective community safety strategies designed to minimise hazards and conditions which lead to harm or fear of harm for residents and visitors of Latrobe City.

Indicators for International ‘Safe Communities’

1. An infrastructure based on partnership and collaborations, governed by a cross-sectoral group that is responsible for safety promotion in their community.

The work of the current cross sectoral group over seeing safety work, dates back to 1990. The establishment of the Latrobe Valley Better Health Project management Committee (1992), Latrobe Shire Safe Communities (1996-99), Latrobe Local Safety Advisory Committee (1999-2004) and the most recent version, the Latrobe Community Safety Committee. This cross-sectoral group has been changed to refocus and address the various partnerships and collaborations required to promote safety with our community.

Current membership is drawn from:
Victoria Police (District Inspector)
Victorian Department of Human Services (Health Promotion and Neighbourhood Renewal)
Latrobe Regional Hospital
Monash University Gippsland Campus
Victorian Education Department
Latrobe Community Health Service
VicRoads (Victorian Road Authority)
Department of Justice (Community Corrections and Courts) Community Representatives (drawn from various interest groups) Latrobe City (Councillor and staff)

The current Chairman is former Mayor of Latrobe City, Mrs Lorraine Bartling OAM, while deputy Chair is Cr. Darrell White.
This committee also serves as the Local Safety Committee established in partnership with Victoria Police through Local Priority Policing in late 1999.

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The Community Safety Committee meets bi-monthly and acts as an advisory group to Council and the partner agencies. The Committee hosts an annual Community Safety Forum in May each year (since 2003). Serviced by a Council Officer it also interacts with a variety of working groups focussed on various issues affecting safety and wellbeing in Latrobe City.

2. Long-term, sustainable programs covering genders and all ages, environments and situations.

A central reason in moving the safety promotion program into local government was for the purpose of sustainability and the opportunity to interact and coordinate activities across the whole community. This has allowed the program to become a permanent part of the local authority and so impact upon the various programs and circumstances which affect the daily lives of all people within the municipality.

Latrobe City has legislative responsibility for the public health and wellbeing of its citizens and visitors through the Local Government Act of Victoria (1989). To this end Latrobe City has a number of plans and processes which include Annual Council Plans, 2021(a strategic municipal plan incorporating sustainability, liveability, capacity building and governance). The City also has a Community Plan which incorporates a Municipal Public Health Plan, a Neighbourhood Renewal Action Plan and incorporates a neighbourhood Environmental Improvement Plan, additionally; Latrobe City also has a Road Safety Strategic Plan and Annual Community Safety Plans. These, collectively affect the safety status of the Latrobe Community.

The City also directly provide services to the community through Aged Care, Family and Children Services, Community Development and Support, Building, Planning, Recreation and Leisure, Arts and Culture, Local Laws, Health Services, Infrastructure as well as Marketing, Events and Strategic Risk units.

The Community Safety and Wellbeing program is located within the Community Development Unit of the City Services Division.

3. Programs that target high-risk groups and environments, and programs that promotes safety for vulnerable groups.

Over the past decade the community safety program has initiated and collaborated on a number of interventions, a sample of which is listed here:

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Justice, Police, Neighbouring municipalities

Regional Crime prevention, various programs

Funded and operated between 1999 to 2003


Australian Drug Foundation

Trial of alcohol management in sporting clubs

Extended to most other Australian States, International pilots.

Safer Roads


Increase role of Local Government to coordinate Road safety initiatives

Action plans with a focus on community development and education

Small Business Safety

Worksafe Vic.

Local project to engage small business in workplace safety

Model developed to increase safety awareness, not continued

Safer Design

Justice and Sustainability & Environment

Safer Design Guidelines development incorporating crime & injury

Guidelines published and promoted through local Gov’t. planning


Dept. Health, VicHealth and Sport & Recreation

Develop injury prevention in sport

Aspects incorporated in local and codes of sport in Victoria

Play Safe Sport

VicHealth, LV Football League

Sports injury prevention in local league

Safety Promotion Sponsorship ceased

Traffic safety with Children

International Power, VicRoads, Schools, Kindergartens & others

Bike Education, Bike Ed. Challenge, Pedestrian safety

Utilisation of Traffic School as focus for programs

Road Safety Education and Awareness Partnership (REAP)

Royal Automobile Club, Police, VicRoads, Local Industry, schools, RoadfSafe Latrobe.

Learner driver school curriculum and related interventions

Some increases in learner driver practice and school curriculum changes, end of funding *see below

Walking School Bus

VicHealth, Primary Schools

Encourage walking to school utilising volunteers. protocols

Ongoing program extending into most local schools*

Liquor Accords

Police, Liquor

Regular meetings

Increased safety

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Licensing, Council, venues

to address violence prevention, safety

in and around night clubs, liquor venues

Foothold on Safety

Health, Primary Care Partnership & others

Falls Prevention, community and residential care

Utilising variety of interventions including modified Tai Chi.

Specific programs which promote safety with vulnerable groups include, REAP – Road Safety and Awareness Partnership with funds provided by the RACV (Royal Automobile Club of Victoria), Loy Yang Power, International Power – Hazelwood and Wights Motor World. This program was undertaken in partnership with Police, VicRoads, RoadSafe Latrobe and local schools and focussed on young motor vehicle drivers. Foothold on Safety - Falls Prevention with Central West Gippsland Primary Care Partnership and agencies, the proportion of aged residents and thus the higher incidence of fall injury saw the development of interventions in both community and residential care settings.

Neighbourhood Renewal (Department of Human Services, Quantum Support and others) with public housing tenants in four local neighbourhoods in Moe, Morwell, Churchill and Traralgon.

Other programs focussed on specific risk factors such as Volatile Substance Abuse (Chroming) through SEER – Safe, Engaging, Educational and Recreation with Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS) and others. This program developed from our involvement with the Latrobe Valley Drug Reference Group who also implemented the HRA – High Risk Adolescent Referral program with Police and Department of Human Services. CHOICE – a program that works with underage alcohol use also developed from this group and is conducted through Police and Community Health – Drug and Alcohol Services.

The City Safety and Wellbeing program also participates with the Latrobe Valley Family Violence Network and is a member of the Gippsland Occupational Health and Safety Network and RoadSafe Latrobe (Community Road Safety Council) Executives.

Internal Council programs include the Community Development Team, Disability Action Plan Reference Group and the sustainable, accessible Housing workgroup.

Collectively these programs target high-risk groups and environments, and promote safety for vulnerable groups in our community.

4. Programs that document the frequency and causes of injury.

In addition to regular reports from Monash University Accident Research Centre’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Centre detailing the hospitalisation and emergency presentations at the Latrobe Regional Hospital. The community

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safety promotion program also utilises local crime statistics provided by Victoria Police. Crash Stats (Road Trauma statistics) provided by VicRoads, Perception of Local Safety data (through Crime Prevention Victoria – Justice Department) are also used.

Over the last decade various other sources of frequency and cause of injury have included a twelve month sample of injury data collected through local General Medical Practitioners and the Central West Gippsland Division of General Medical Practice.

The data sources are used to determine areas of concern and in some cases are used to alert relevant authorities or when implementing interventions of various types.

Location of injury, Latrobe Regional Hospital July 2004 to June 2005 (n=8,134)

Other specified place 10%

Home 50%

Place for recreation 3%

Road, street or highway 11%

School, day care, public admin area

Trade or service area 5%

Unspecified place 2%

Athletics and sports area 9%

Industrial/construction area 4%

Farm 1%

Source: Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD) Produced by: Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU)

5. Evaluation measures to assess their programs, processes and the effects of change.

Regular reports that assess programs and processes are part of work protocol within Latrobe City and are also a requirement of external and partnership funding. These are reported to the Latrobe Community Safety Committee and Council on a regular basis. The annual Community Safety Forum also utilise this material in order to determine their plans for the following twelve months.

As a result of these reports the program undertakes change and practices which attempt to focus on effective community safety interventions.

During 1997 and 2002 detailed evaluation of the Safe Communities Program was undertaken by Monash University Accident Research Centre at Clayton. These reports are available from Monash University as reports 114 and 190 ( reports)

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Annual program and a variety of project (listed under Indicator 2&3) reports are available from Latrobe City through the Safety and Wellbeing Program Officer.

6. Ongoing participation in national and international Safe Communities networks.

Evidence of Latrobe’s commitment to Safe Communities has included numerous conferences, seminars and hosting a variety of visitors both from Australia and Internationally.

During the last decade Latrobe has provided significant resources to allow this participation, this has included hosting the 5th International WHO Safe Communities Conference (with Hume City) in 1996. Latrobe City staff have participated in the establishment of the Victorian Safe Communities Network and the Australian Safe Communities Foundation Inc. These groups have had a significant impact in promoting the safe communities concept throughout Australia and Victoria.

Latrobe has also been associated with the instigation of Community Safety Month (originally safe communities week in 1996), this major marketing and community partnering initiative has now extended to the national and international arena.

Latrobe has participated in the following international networking events:
rd WHO International Conference in Harstad, Norway 1994
th WHO International Conference in Fort McMurray, Canada 1995
Hosted the 5
th WHO International Conference in Hume and Latrobe, Australia 1996

6th WHO International Conference and Rapporteur for the 9th WHO Travelling Seminar, Johannesburg, South Africa 1998
st Pacific Rim WHO Safe Communities Regional Conference in Waitakere New Zealand 2000

1st Asian WHO Safe Communities Regional Conference in Suwon, South Korea 2003
rd Asian WHO Safe Communities Regional Conference in Taipei, Taiwan in 2005.

The Program manager has been involved in consultancy and speaking engagements in communities across Australia and Asia in recent years. The manager also attended the 13th WHO International Conference in Prague, Czech Republic and was awarded the inaugural International Distinguished Safe Community Award at this conference which also assisted his attendance at the14th WHO International Conference in Bergen, Norway in 2005.


As is evidenced in the above responses, the Latrobe City community is a proud and committed member of the WHO ‘Safe Community’ global network. It believes in the importance of local partnerships and collaborations which

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promote the safety of all and promotes the importance of prevention of actual and perceived risks to personal safety and wellbeing of the whole community.


  1. Harberts H. La Trobe Shire, Victoria, Australia. Application to become a member of the Safe Community Network. 1995. Report 360.

  2. Day,L.Cassell,E.McGrath,A.&Ozanne-Smith,J.(Authors.)"Latrobe Valley Better Health Project: Evaluation of the Injury Prevention Program 1992-1996" Monash University Accident Research Centre, Clayton Vic. Australia 1997

  3. Harberts H. Consolidating communities against violence: Contexts and challenges. Report from the 9th Travelling Seminar. South Africa, Karolinska Institute, Sweden report 1998:8

  4. Day,Cassell&Lough,LatrobeSafeCommunities:Evaluationofa Local Level Injury Prevention Program - 1996-2000 – Report 190, Monash University Accident Research Centre Jan. 2002

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