Australia plans to establish its first Preventive Health Agency, which will focus exclusively on boosting the prevention agenda and combating the complex challenges of preventable chronic diseases.

The agency will help health ministers control the growth of the lifestyle risks driving chronic diseases and reduce the burden of preventable health problems on Australia’s workforce, the government said.

It will encourage and partake in evidence-based programmes, and analyse and disseminate areas of concern.

The government has announced grants of $123m (A$133m) over four years towards the creation of the agency.