Show me:
Show me:
New survey: COVID-restricted Victorians back funding for healthy neighbourhoods
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

New survey: COVID-restricted Victorians back funding for healthy neighbourhoods

Media release - 20 November 2020

Close to three in four (72%) Victorians support government diverting a higher portion of road spending towards local walking/cycling infrastructure, while a similar amount (75%) are in favour of a higher portion redirected towards public transport initiatives.

According to Heart Foundation research released today, this Victorian result was significantly higher than the national average, which found two in three (67%) Australians support these measures. In fact, Victoria is the state most in favour of these actions, as COVID lockdown fuelled a focus on local liveability.

The finding is part of “What Australia Wants”, a national survey of 2,895 people that measured community sentiment on what makes a neighbourhood desirable, liveable and healthy.

The survey asked Australians how important it is to live in a neighbourhood that allows them to be active locally. Almost 8 in 10 Australians (77 per cent) said it is “very” or “somewhat” important to them.

Among the states and territories, this sentiment is highest among Victorians, with 81 per cent agreeing that being active locally is “very” or “somewhat” important to them. This was particularly important to lockdown-living Melburnians (84 per cent).

“What Australia Wants” survey – Victorians rated these top 10 neighbourhood features as “somewhat” or “very” important

The survey asked people to rate the importance of 21 neighourhood-design features if they imagined a move to a new location. This revealed Victorians’ top 10 most important neighbourhood attributes to be:
  • Convenient access to fresh food (91 per cent)
  • A sense of safety (89 per cent)
  • Facilities accessible on foot/bicycle (87 per cent v overall nationally 83%)
  • Natural elements, such as trees and plants (86 per cent)
  • Close to parks/open spaces (83 per cent v overall nationally 80%)
  • Easy walking distance to parks/recreation areas (82 per cent v overall nationally 77%)
  • Availability of properties with back yards (81 per cent)
  • Council providing safe footpaths (81 per cent)
  • Suitable for all age groups (80 per cent)
  • Walking distance to public transport (80 per cent)
Significantly, Victorians rated being close to amenities and shops, facilities accessible by walking or cycling, proximity to parks and recreation areas and walkable access to public transport higher than any other state or territory.

Of particular note, those in Melbourne rated being close to public open spaces (47 per cent), council providing safe footpaths (47 per cent) and facilities accessibly by walking and cycling (53 per cent) as very important to them.

Heart Foundation CEO Victoria, Kellie-Ann Jolly, said after eight months of lockdown, Victorians feel very strongly that where they live should support them to be active and healthy.

“COVID-19 restrictions forced Melburnians and regional Victorians to take stock of their health, homes and neighbourhoods,” Ms Jolly said.

“Our data suggests that after essentials are covered – like convenient access to fresh foods and a sense of safety – Melburnians place great value on easy, walkable access to local amenities, parks and public open spaces that allow them to be active in their daily lives.

“For many people, COVID-19 threw a spotlight on communities that failed to meet these needs.

“We know the way our neighbourhoods are designed and built is closely connected to how much physical activity we do. Regular exercise and being active is one of the best ways to reduce your risks of heart attack, stroke and other chronic diseases.

“It’s clear Melburnians want to see more compact, mixed-use neighbourhoods that provide opportunities for education, employment, public transport, fresh food outlets and being active.”

Earlier this year, the Heart Foundation congratulated the Victorian State Government on funding three $120,000 grants to implement recommendations from the 20-Minute Neighbourhood pilot program in Strathmore, Sunshine West and Croydon South.

Following implementation of these recommendations, the Heart Foundation has called on government to review its success and roll-out more 20-Minute Neighbourhoods across Melbourne’s suburbs and regional centres in Victoria.

Ms Jolly, said the global pandemic presents a rare opportunity to fast-track healthy living initiatives, like 20-minute neighbourhoods, to get more Victorians moving,

“This investment is a win for healthy hearts as we learn to live COVID-normal lives. From our survey, it’s also encouraging to see people are prepared to back government investment that supports them to be healthy, active and socially connected.

“We all have a role to play; from local councils, planners, government, public health bodies and individuals to ensure equitable access to healthier environments.”

“What Australia Wants” complements other Heart Foundation initiatives promoting healthier built environments, including Healthy Active by Design and the Blueprint for an Active Australia. The Heart Foundation conducted an online survey of 2,895 nationally representative Australian adults between 15 August and 7 September 2020. The survey sample was sourced via the research only panel LightSpeed. Read “What Australia Wants” report here - healthyactivebydesign.com.au/waw

Media enquiries

Debora McInnes, Senior Media Advisor
M: 0423 827 697 E: debora.mcinnes@heartfoundation.org.au

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Week 2022

Heart Week 2022

Heart Week 2022

With one Australian having a heart attack or stroke every 4 minutes, you have the power to change this statistic. ...

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Guidelines, publications and support for the health professional community....

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

The power of your ongoing support can help save lives and keep more families together. Help us continue to fund promising heart research projects by donating today. ...

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

What is angina?

What is angina?

What is angina?

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort that’s a symptom of an underlying heart problem, usually coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Join the fight against heart disease....

Meditation helped Grant recover from his heart attack

Meditation helped Grant recover from his heart attack

Meditation helped Grant recover from his heart attack

Thankfully for Grant Byrne, a lifelong Led Zeppelin fan, some quick thinking helped him avoid a stairway to heaven. Read Grant’s heart attack story now. ...

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts

Absolute CVD risk charts provide a visual tool to calculate CVD risk for use in practice in Australia....

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Christmas recipes

Find heart healthy festive recipes. ...

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Your role as a carer for a heart attack patient is an important one – explore some useful things to know....

One pan honey mustard chicken

One pan honey mustard chicken

One pan honey mustard chicken

30 minutes
Serves 4

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Resources available for built environment professionals to help guide in the development of active outdoor and indoor spaces....

Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease

Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease

Statistics and information on Cardiovascular disease in Australia. ...

Heart stories

Heart stories

Heart stories

Stories of hope from Australian men and women fighting heart disease....

Q&A with Dr James Nadel

Q&A with Dr James Nadel

Q&A with Dr James Nadel

The role of inflammation in the development, identification and treatment of unstable blood vessel plaque...

Research Directory

Research Directory

Italian fish parcels

Italian fish parcels

Italian fish parcels

20 minutes
Serves 4

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Partner with us to help us fight for Australian hearts....

Research connect newsletter

Research connect newsletter

Research connect newsletter

The Research Connect Newsletter provides monthly updates on the Heart Foundation Research Program....

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Order patient resources online

Order patient resources online

Search and order from our range of printed patient resources online. ...

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Learn about the common tests your doctor may want you to have to diagnose your heart condition....

Salmon primavera spaghetti

Salmon primavera spaghetti

Salmon primavera spaghetti

15 minutes
Serves 2

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

The national heart and stroke action plan aims to identify and prioritise action to reduce the impact of heart disease and stroke....

New Synthetic Blood Vessels to Better Treat Cardiovascular Disease

New Synthetic Blood Vessels to Better Treat Cardiovascular Disease

Associate Professor Steven Wise, Institution: University of Sydney...

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals....

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions....

Heart failure resources for patients

Heart failure resources for patients

Educate your patients on everything they need to know about heart failure and managing their condition ...