31 October 2023

Cook Shire formalises commitment to improving health and wellbeing

| Sarah Martin
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Food security is among the key priorities Cook Shire Council and Health and Wellbeing Queensland are targeting in Cook Shire. Most years the remote town of Coen requires a costly emergency resupply when flooding cuts road transport. Photo: Samantha Midgley.

Cook Shire Council has formalised its commitment to closing the gap and improving community health and wellbeing, with councillors approving a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state’s health promotion body.

Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott said data compiled by Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Services showed the shire was underperforming in most key health determinants.

“The median age of death is 60 here, but it’s 80 in the rest of Queensland,” Cr Scott said.

“We have more underweight babies, overweight mothers, smokers and risky drinkers compared to the rest of the state and we want to turn that around.”

Councillors voted at the October meeting to approve the signing of an MOU with Health and Wellbeing Queensland, a state body that works in partnership with stakeholders to reduce risk factors that lead to chronic disease.

Cr Scott said the MOU would help the council and Health and Wellbeing Queensland work together with other stakeholders to empower communities to design and deliver solutions that meet their specific needs.

“By formalising this partnership, we aim to increase engagement and collaboration and deliver more programs that promote health and wellbeing in our communities,” he said.

“Key issues that have been highlighted in Cook Shire and also our neighbouring shires of Hope Vale and Wujal Wujal are food insecurity, physical inactivity and environmental health issues.”

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