Local Government in Australia has an important public health role and in addition to conventional functions of managing infectious diseases and food safety, councils have become increasingly involved in disease prevention, health promotion and the social health agenda. Some distinctive local government roles in responding to alcohol and other drug-related issues include:

  • sharps management
  • community safety planning
  • business safety and support
  • liaison with liquor licensing authorities, and
  • community development and consultation.

With growing community and stakeholder expectations for councils to respond to alcohol and other drug-related problems, new roles, opportunities and challenges are emerging for local government to address.