The previous publication in this series, ABS Views on Census Output Strategies (cat. no. 2009.0), listed several key strategies for the 2006 Census dissemination of standard Census tables. The first of these was to use 'place of usual residence' as the basis for dissemination rather than 'place of enumeration' as was used in previous Censuses. In our previous round of forums the majority of users supported the use of 'place of usual residence'.
There are significant differences in the processing of place of usual residence data as opposed to processing place of enumeration data. Place of enumeration data are prepared for dissemination on a state-by-state basis as data are received from the Census Data Processing Centre (DPC). Often, the data for the first state are ready for dissemination before data for the last state are received from the DPC . For usual residence data, the data for all states and territories must be received from the DPC before any preparations for dissemination can commence. These differences may impact on another of our strategies, to maintain the timeliness of the release of data.
There are several options as to how the ABS can maintain a balance between the user preference for usual residence data and the timely release of data. For example, it may be possible for the first release of data to include only community profile tables for all available geographical levels except Collection Districts (CDs). It is important for the ABS to establish what the majority of users would prefer, and communicate this to all users, so that all users have knowledge of the planned release schedule.