Healthy Loddon Campaspe

What is the Healthy Loddon Campaspe?

Healthy Loddon Campaspe (previously known as Healthy Heart of Victoria) aims to improve health in the region – the heart of Victoria.

It is a response to higher than average rates of obesity, chronic disease and high-risk health behaviours in the region.

Our projects focus on encouraging healthy eating and getting more people, more active, more often.

There are six Councils involved:

  • Campaspe Shire
  • Central Goldfields Shire
  • City of Greater Bendigo
  • Loddon Shire
  • Macedon Ranges Shire 
  • Mount Alexander Shire



In 2016, the community told the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership it was concerned about people's health. They also believed that health is everyone’s business, not only health professionals.

To address these concerns, a series of design workshops were conducted. Over 100 stakeholders from local government, health services, primary care partnerships, universities and state government departments contributed. 

They developed what was the 'Healthy Heart of Victoria'; now known as the Healthy Loddon Campaspe framework.

In 2018, stage 1 of the initiative received $5 million in funding.

Since then, we have delivered several projects in Mount Alexander Shire. 

Infrastructure and activation projects: 

  • Walking and cycling trail linkages in Castlemaine
  • A pedestrian crossing on Forest Street near Camp Reserve in Castlemaine 
  • Seating, drinking fountains and wayfinding signs. 
  • A pedestrian crossing, accessible ramp and footpath at Hargraves Street. This links the upgraded Forest Creek trail, Western Reserve, and other trails in Castlemaine.

To support people walking, riding and scootering in the Shire we have installed: 

  • Hoops for bike storage,
  • Bike maintenance stations
  • Water fountains 
  • An e-bike/ scooter charge point in central Castlemaine 

We've established healthy eating and physical activity projects across the shire. These local projects focus on equity, targeting people who don't often get the support to get active they'd like. 

We encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.

Stage 2 of Healthy Loddon Campaspe 

Following the success of stage 1, the Victorian Government has extended funding for four more years.  

The initiative will continue to work within the region by:

  • Implementing place-based activations focusing on physical activity and healthy eating. We will continue to focus on community members that are the least supported to access healthy alternatives. We will encourage healthy eating and get more people, more active, more often.
  • A workforce of local Health Brokers in each Local Government Area. This group develops relationships which build community knowledge about health and wellbeing.
  • Applying the findings from the Healthy Loddon Campaspe Active Living Census. This information ensures investment, infrastructure, programs and services across the region deliver results.

What is the Active Living Census?

All households in the Loddon Campaspe region were invited complete the 2019 Active Living Census (ALC). Almost 25,000 households responded.

The results provide important information about people’s health and wellbeing. The census also includes information about barriers to healthy eating and active lifestyles.

The findings provide local-level evidence. This enables comparisons across townships and demographic groups. 

No other region in Australia has this type of data at this level of detail. The data give a better understanding of people's activity levels and preferences. They support planning for health and recreation services to meet these preferences. 

It also serves as a guide on what would help people meet national guidelines for healthy eating and active living.

We encourage any interested members of the community to view and use the data for their needs.

Key findings from the 2019 Active Living Census for Mount Alexander Shire Council

  • Residents have high levels of life satisfaction (76.5%), with more than four out of five respondents rating their health as good to excellent.
  • Two in every three adults in the Mount Alexander Shire are overweight or obese (56.1%). This is higher than the Victorian average of 49.7%.
  • One in 13 households (7.7%) in the Mount Alexander Shire are food insecure – they do not have enough to eat. In some areas, this increases to one in 7 households. This is higher than the Victorian average of 6.2%.
  • 10.5% of adults are daily consumers of sugary drinks. This is lower than the Victorian average of 11.2%.
  • One in every two adults (54%) meet the daily fruit consumption guidelines. This is better than the Victorian average of 42.9%.
  • One in every six adults meet the daily vegetable consumption guidelines (16.4%) as compared to the Victorian average of 4.9%.
  • 9.0% of adults are current smokers with higher rates among males than females. This is a lower than the Victorian smoking rates (16.7%).
  • 61.5% of residents (including children 3+) meet the physical activity guidelines. People in the Mount Alexander Shire want to be more active more often, with 55.3% wanting to do more activity.
  • Walking is the most popular type of physical activity, followed by swimming, bushwalking/ hiking, and cycling.
  • Castlemaine Botanical Gardens was rated as the most popular recreation facility.  It was followed by Castlemaine War Memorial Stadium. Gurri Wanyarra was rated as the most popular and best facility across the region.
  • Food insecurity and household wealth appear to be key predictors for a cluster of health behaviours and outcomes. Food-insecure and low-income households reported lower levels of health and wellbeing overall.
  • There were also higher rates of overweight and obesity, health-risk behaviours (i.e. smoking, alcohol, sugary drinks) and lower rates of health-protecting behaviours (i.e. physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption).


Active Living Census reports for Mount Alexander Shire

A video is available that outlines the Active Living Census, explains the different reports and how to use the data.

We encourage all residents, organisations and interested community groups to download the reports. They are publicly available. They can support grant applications and inform decision-making.

Want to know more?