The municipalities of Mildura in Victoria and Wentworth in NSW undertook a review of public health issues within their communities in preparation for the development of a Municipal Public Health Plan. The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion provided an appropriate framework to develop an interview schedule used in focus groups to investigate the community perceptions of public health issues. The interview schedule provided a rich source of data and subsequently, provided a framework for the development of a Municipal Public Health Plan. This is a new use for the Ottawa Charter. It provided a vehicle that enabled the community to reflect upon, and discuss, public health issues within their municipality. Moreover, the schedule was easily administered, applied in a number of settings, and provided an approach that was acceptable to diverse community groups.