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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Health impact assessment in Australia Volume 16 Issue 7-8

Mary Mahoney

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 16(8) 113 - 114 Published: 2005

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About the author/s

Mary Mahoney


A recently published paper which describes the status
of health impact assessment (HIA) in Australia in 2003
provides a vantage point from which to see how rapidly
HIA is developing across the country. When the report
Health impact assessment: a tool for policy development
in Australia was released in 2002 there was little use of
HIA beyond environmental management applications. By late 2005, most states and territories are undertaking a
variety of HIA activities either routinely or experimentally.
Traditional divisions between environmental project-level
applications that focus on health protection and public
health policy-level applications that focus on health
promotion, are largely disappearing. These are being
replaced by a growing understanding of the need for
complementarity in approach and cross-sectoral working.
This is not to say that there are high levels of activity, but
both awareness and action are increasing.