Hawker Britton Occasional Papers and Media

Preventative Health Taskforce Report: National Preventative Health Strategy

September 2009

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On 1 September 2009 the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Nicola Roxon, released the report of the Preventative Health Taskforce, the National Preventative Health Strategy entitled, Australia: the healthiest country by 2020.

The National Preventative Health Strategy – road map for action is available at http://www.preventativehealth.org.au/internet/preventativehealth/publishing.nsf/Content/nphs-roadmap

The Strategy provides a blueprint for tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol. It is directed at primary prevention and addresses policy in both the health and non-health sectors.

National Preventative Health Taskforce

The National Preventative Health Taskforce was established in April 2008 for a 3 year period.  It has compiled research on national health issues, focussing primarily on obesity, smoking (tobacco) and alcohol, which together cause approximately 32 per cent of Australia’s illness.   This in turn translates into approximately $6 billion per year of health costs, and an estimated $13 billion in lost productivity.

The Taskforce’s report on these issues follows the discussion paper released on 10 October 2008 and related technical papers (available at http://www.preventativehealth.org.au/internet/preventativehealth/publishing.nsf/Content/discussion-healthiest).   

National Preventative Health Strategy

The Report provides targets, a roadmap for action, and some specific recommendations regarding obesity, tobacco and alcohol. 

The National Preventative Health Strategy sets 4 targets to achieve by 2020:

The diagram below shoes these targets in the context of the overall ‘roadmap for action’.

The strategy goes on to detail the actions recommended for phased  implementation. 


The technical paper Obesity in Australia: a need for urgent action is available at http://www.preventativehealth.org.au/internet/preventativehealth/publishing.nsf/Content/tech-obesity.

First Phase Actions (2010-2013)

The second and third phase actions mostly deal with learning from the actions outlined above, monitoring their effect and implementing further strategies.


The technical paper Tobacco Control in Australia: making smoking history is available at http://www.preventativehealth.org.au/internet/preventativehealth/publishing.nsf/Content/tech-tobacco.

First Phase Action (2010-2013)

Second (2014-2017) and third (2018-2020) phase actions include further price increases, social marketing campaigns and more restrictive legislation if necessary.


The technical paper Preventing Alcohol-related Harm in Australia: a window of opportunity is available at http://www.preventativehealth.org.au/internet/preventativehealth/publishing.nsf/Content/tech-alcohol.

First Phase Action (2010-2013)

The Second (2014-2017) and Third (2018 -2020) phases include monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of the actions in the First Phase.

Performance Indicators

The Taskforce has proposed a list of indicators and benchmarks that will be used to measure progress towards achieving the targets

The Government is expected to respond to the Taskforce’s final report in December 2009.

For further information see www.preventativehealth.org.au.

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