Abstract. Until now, comprehensive service planning has been uncommon in the Victorian community health sector. Where it has occurred, it has primarily been undertaken by community health services embedded within larger, hospitalbased health services. Reflections on the utility and efficacy of community health service planning are largely absent from the Australian peer-reviewed literature. Using a case study focussed on a specific centre in Melbourne?s outer suburbs, this paper explores how community health service planning is shaped by the current policy context, the legal status of registered community health services, and the data and methodologies available to inform planning. It argues that regular and systematic service planning could support registered community health centres to better understand their unique position within the primary health-care landscape, having regard to their inherent opportunities and vulnerabilities. Furthermore, consistent and effective service planning is proposed to benefit agencies in establishing themselves as critical players in promoting local population health initiatives and driving improved health outcomes.