Are you living in Australia’s unhealthiest postcodes?

BYRON Bay is Australia’s booziest location for risky drinking, a town in Tassie tops the list for the most smokers, and WA’s Pinjarra poses the most danger to your waistline, the latest figures in a national health report card reveal.

The Australia’s Health Trackers map, released this week by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration reveals that your postcode can affect your portliness, propensity for a drink, potential for health problems, and even your blood pressure.

The interactive map allows you to tap in your postcode for a snapshot of the health of where you live.

Broadly, it reveals health snapshots such as snippets that Australia’s wealthiest postcodes are the healthiest postcodes. Drill down into the figures and you find your area’s rates of high blood pressure, risk of chronic diseases and data on smoking, alcohol intake and obesity.

It was developed by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University (VU) with the Public Health Information and Development Unit at Torrens University.

Australian Health Policy Collaboration director Rosemary Calder said the aim of tracking localised data was to use it to reduce the alarming rates of chronic diseases

“One in every two Australians has a chronic disease, however roughly one third of these diseases are preventable,” said Ms Calder.

“Australia’s Health Tracker by Area is a call to action and a resource to help protect the most important asset in the country, our health.”

The data reveals the inland town of Pinjarra in WA, about 85km south of Perth, holds the title for the biggest weight problem in Australia, with 76.2 per cent of its adult population (over 18, age standardised rate per 100 population) falling into the obese or overweight category.

At the other end of the scale — but still a sobering illustration of the vast problem of obesity facing Australia, Melbourne’s inner city emerged as the place with the most people of a healthy weight (with a Body Mass Index of less than 25). The figures reveal 42.8 per cent of its population is overweight or obese.


WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Pinjarra was the plumpest, place in Australia, but back in Perth the smallest figure in WA was found in the city’s inner west, with levels at 53 per cent.

NSW: Raymond Terrace near Newcastle has the biggest problem, with 70.8 per cent of its adults overweight or obese. The Sydney suburbs of Haymarket and The Rocks have the smallest number of overweight and obese, with 44.3 per cent.

VICTORIA: The study reveals that overweight and obesity problems are generally less frequent in more affluent areas. This was borne out in Victoria, where the worst problems were at 70.9 per cent in the less affluent suburbs like Campbellfield in Melbourne’s north, compared to 42.8 per cent back in the CBD and surrounds.

QUEENSLAND: The country town of Warwick, 130km south west of Brisbane took the dubious honour of heftiest problem in the Sunshine State, with 73.6 per cent of its adult population overweight or obese. Back in Brisbane, the inner city area of Kangaroo Point weighed in with the least: 49.8 per cent.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: The towns of Kadina and Moonta on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula had the worst weight problems in the state at 74.2 per cent. Back in inner-city Adelaide, the lowest number of overweight and obese people in the state, with that figure a much slimmer 48.9 per cent.

TASMANIA: The town of Langford and surrounds in Tasmania’s northern midlands has the weightiest problem, with 69.8 per cent or residents obese or overweight. South Hobart was at the other end of the scale, with 52 per cent.

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Palmerston near Darwin Harbour topped the Territory with 67.9 per cent. Alice Springs had the least, with 57 per cent.

ACT: Majura, east of Canberra topped the nation’s capital with 75.8 per cent of the population overweight or obese. Back in the inner city, south Canberrans were the least overweight, at 53.3 per cent.


Beachside Byron Bay in NSW emerged as the nation’s capital for risky drinking.

The map shows 33.4 per cent of the area’s population aged over 15 ‘fessed up to “risky’ drinking levels of an average more than two standard drinks a day.

NSW also took the lowest drinking honours, with the Cabramatta and Lansvale areas in Sydney’s southwest having the lowest levels in Australia: 4.5 per cent.

VICTORIA: Bright, in the Victorian High Country has the most risky drinkers (27.7 per cent). Roxburgh and Somerton, about 20km from Melbourne’s city centre have the least (5 per cent).

QUEENSLAND: The most risky drinkers in the state were in the Caloundra/Maroochydore hinterland of the Sunshine Coast (30.9 per cent). The least (7.7 per cent) were in Brisbane’s southern suburbs of Calamvale and Stretton.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Kangaroo Island has pristine wildlife, and the riskiest drinkers in the state (27 per cent) while the aptly-named Dry Creek, near Port Adelaide has the least (9.3 per cent).

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: The beachside suburbs of Cottlesloe (31.5 per cent). The area including Landsdale in Perth’s north has the least (11.5 per cent).

TASMANIA: They love a drink in West Launceston, which topped the state with 28.9 per cent. Less so in the Hobart suburb of Rokeby, the lowest with 12.7 per cent.

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Maybe it’s those Darwin stubbies? Inner city Darwin topped the list, with 23.8 per cent. The north Darwin suburb of Casuarina was lowest, with 13.7 per cent.

ACT: In Canberra’s inner south the population tips the nation’s capital with 20.3 per cent of the population in the risky category. Head 10km north to Gunghalin, and they’re drinking the least (9.5 per cent).


TASMANIA’S northern Hobart suburbs of Gagebrook and Bridgewater hold the dubious honour of having the highest percentage of smokers in Australia with 36.6 per cent of the population over 18 years of age admitting they smoke. But in the Hobart suburbs of Mount Nelson and Sandy Bay the figures were the lowest in the state (12.1 per cent)

NSW is the state with the lowest smoking rates in Australia, at 7.4 per cent in the Sydney suburbs of Lindfield and Roseville. NSW’s biggest smokers are in Tamworth (29.6 per cent).

VICTORIA: Corio, in Geelong had the highest percentage of smokers (30.6 per cent) Glen Iris, 10km from Melbourne’s CBD has the lowest levels in the state (9.7 per cent).

QUEENSLAND: The Cairns suburbs of Manoora and Manunda had the highest smoking rates in the state (31.6 per cent). Back in Brisbane, the areas of Figtree Pocket and Kenmore had the lowest percentage of smokers (9.4 per cent).

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: The northern Adelaide area of Elizabeth topped the list (32.8 per cent). Smoking levels at Burnside near the city centre, were the lowest in the state (10.2 per cent).

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Kwinana, 40km from Perth’s CBD had the most smokers in WA (30.2 per cent). Head towards the beach, and City Beach and Floreat in Perth had the least (9.7 per cent).

NORTHERN TERRITORY: The Woodroffe area of inner city Palmerston, 25km from Darwin’s CBD topped the state with 27.4 per cent. Over in Casuarina, the lowest numbers were found, with 17.4 per cent of the population fessing up to lighting up.

ACT: The Majura area topped the territory with 25.9 per cent of the adult population lighting up. Gunghalin had the lowest rates (11 per cent).