1316.3 - Statistical Update Queensland (Newsletter), Feb 2002
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/03/2002
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Household Survey Program Update
The Multi Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) will now use different survey vehicles to collect information. All topics which were to be included in the proposed 2003 MPHS have been allocated to the 2002 General Social Survey and the 2002-03 Survey of Income and Housing Costs.
Additional data items will continue to be collected in future General Social Surveys planned for 2006 and 4 yearly thereafter; and in future Surveys of Income and Housing Costs planned for 2003-04 and biennially thereafter.
In 2004-05, it is anticipated that the Multi Purpose Household Survey will be conducted using a survey of 14,000 households within the regular Labour Force Survey program.
For further information contact Kate Wright on 02 6252 6504 or kate.wright
Internet Activity Survey Now Twice Yearly
The Internet Activity Survey is a quarterly census of all identified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating in Australia in respects of the reporting period. Data are available from the September 2000 quarter onwards.
A methodological review in mid-2001 was conducted to review the scope, coverage and methodology used in the Internet Activity Survey. The recommendations were that the Internet Activity Survey remain a fully enumerated survey (census) but that it be changed from quarterly to twice yearly. It was determined that trends could be measured just as effectively. In addition, provider load will decrease. The extended survey timetable will also allow more value-added analysis of industry changes and new technologies.
As a result of this review, the Internet Activity Survey will be conducted as a twice yearly survey from January 2002. The reference periods for the survey will now be October to March, and April to September. Publications release dates will now be August and February at latest.
The twice yearly collection will continue to measure changes in the structure of the ISP industry and the number of Australian households and organisations obtaining access to the Internet through ISPs. It will also continue to measure movements in the type and amount of infrastructure available to provide Internet connectivity.
Results from the Internet Activity Survey are published in Internet Activity Australia (Cat. no. 8153.0).
For further information contact Dean Bloom on 07 3222 6404 or dean.bloom
Queensland State Supplementary Survey 2001: Safety in the Home
The Australia-wide monthly population survey, in which data are collected by interviewers from respondents in a representative sample of about 29,000 dwellings throughout Australia, consists of two components:
(i) The Labour Force Survey, in which certain information on demographic and labour force characteristics is collected Australia-wide each month; and
(ii) Supplementary Surveys, in which additional information on a range of economic and social topics is conducted for most months of the year.
Once a year, a supplementary survey topic of particular importance to individual States or Territories is collected and this is called the State Supplementary Survey. The Queensland State Supplementary Survey, conducted in October 2001 at the request of Queensland Health, was Safety in the Home. Information was collected from houses and flats in the private dwelling sample, excluding caravans, tents, cabins, houseboats, improvised homes and campers.
Data were collected on a number of topics, including visitors to the household (especially young children and the elderly), risk factors contributing to injury (e.g. rugs, slippery surfaces, steps, etc.), children's playground equipment and surfaces below or around it, swimming pool/outdoor spa ownership and precautions taken to prevent children from drowning, the presence of various safety features (e.g. smoke detectors, temperature controlling devices for hot water), first aid training, type of dwelling and home ownership.
The information will be used by Queensland Health to run targeted awareness campaigns and to assist in the development of intervention and prevention strategies and projects. Other users of the data will be the Queensland Health Promotion Council, the Public Health Association and the Queensland Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project.
The publication Safety in the Home, Queensland, October 2001 (Cat. no. 4387.3) is expected to be published in April 2002.
For further information contact Adrian Seabrook on 07 3222 6218 or adrian.seabrook
The Environment and Local Government
The ABS has collected financial information on environment protection and natural resource management by Local Government Authorities since the 1997-98 financial year. Results for 1999-2000 were released on 5 December 2001 showing that local government spent over $2,500m on environment protection services and activities throughout Australia. This was a national average of $133 per person.
The main areas of expenditure by councils were for solid waste management ($1,143m) and waste water management ($1,043m). Significant money was also spent on conservation of biodiversity and habitat, including replanting trees, preventing land degradation, controlling weeds in native reserves, and protecting local water courses from run-off from roadworks ($147m).
Other categories of environment protection include protection of soil resources, cultural heritage and air pollution abatement. Queensland and New South Wales were the States with the highest total expenditure on environment protection spending $926m and $893m, respectively. Queensland councils spent the most on a per capita basis ($260). Tasmanian councils had the second highest per capita expenditure (at $191 per person).
Council total expenditure on managing natural resources was estimated to be $1,823m in 1999-2000. Examples of these activities include provision of water supply, water use conservation methods and land management activities such as assessing development applications. Land management and water supply played important roles in natural resource activities, accounting for nearly 51% ($924m) and 46% ($836m) of total expenditure, respectively. Queensland recorded the highest level of expenditure for natural resource management, spending $714m.
The results are published in Environment Expenditure, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 4611.0).
For further information contact Peter Meadows on 02 6252 5613 or p.meadows
Directory of Statistical Sources to Be Released Soon
A key ABS objective is to improve users’ awareness and understanding of statistical data sources. The Directory of Statistical Sources (DSS), expected to be released on the ABS web site in March 2002, will help meet this objective by providing users with reference information on ABS statistical collections.
The DSS will enable users to research information about data (metadata) available. It covers information about data available at the National, State/Territory and sub-State/Territory levels. The DSS will also be multi-thematic, providing access to metadata across a range of topics covering the economy, environment, industry and population/people.
Users are able to drill down to their collection of interest via either the Topic or Geographic Detail search options.
Each collection metadata page provides information about a selected ABS collection (and non-ABS collections in later releases). This metadata is presented under nine headings: Name of organisation; Overview; Purpose; Scope; Data detail; Geographic detail; Collection frequency; Collection history; and Data availability.
The DSS also provides users with links to related information about selected ABS collections. These include links to publications, main features pages and time series spreadsheets.
For further information contact Trevor Draper on 08 9360 5228 or trevor.draper
ABS Business Longitudinal Database
The ABS is currently examining the feasibility of developing a Business Longitudinal Database. The plan is to link the Australian Business Number based business register units over time to form a core database. The database would subsequently be populated primarily by using other administrative data such as Customs files and business income tax data, supplemented by ABS survey data.
The new database will provide opportunities for analysis of a number of aspects of business performance and behaviour including exporting and importing and business entries and exits. The resulting database will be of a similar nature to the ABS Business Longitudinal Survey conducted over the period 1994-95 to 1997-98, however, it will be populated primarily via administrative data rather than via direct collection although there will also be the option to fill data gaps with direct collection activity.
The database will be a rich dataset on exporting businesses (and potentially importers as well). The ABS has been having discussions regarding building a set of user requirements for such a database. To arrive at a reasonably complete set of user requirements, the ABS has been consulting with a range of agencies, including both Federal and State Government Departments.
The longitudinal database will provide a robust source of statistics on business start-ups and exits and will cover about 100,000 businesses Australia-wide. This is a much larger database than that provided by the previous longitudinal survey and will offer the opportunity to produce a range of business statistics at the regional level (i.e. below State level). The level of regional detail that can be provided may vary depending on the data item in question, but it should enable changes in the structure and make up of the business communities to be monitored at least to the Statistical Division level.
For further information contact Clem Tozer on 02 6252 6709 or clem.tozer
New ABS / AVCC Agreement for Universities to Access ABS Data
The Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (AVCC) and the ABS signed Agreements on 20 December 2001 to extend the ABS/AVCC AusStats and Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) Agreements. The extensions from 2002 to 2004 enable universities to continue to utilise ABS data to support academic and teaching endeavours and to minimise the costs to each university through the shared sector arrangements. This in turn supports more informed decision making within the university sector, government and the community. The original Agreements have been very successful and universities continue to expand their use of ABS data under these arrangements.
The ABS/AVCC AusStats Agreement provides unlimited, on-line, desktop access to ABS data by staff and students of 38 universities for academic and teaching purposes. AusStats, which is updated daily, delivers timely access to more than 2,000 ABS publications, time series data and tables (over 90,000 series in spreadsheet format), metadata (documentation of surveys, concepts and data items) and 1996 Census Basic Community Profiles. Data from the 2001 Census will be added to the AusStats service from June 2002 as they become available.
The ABS/AVCC CURF Agreement currently provides researchers in 32 universities with access to CURFs which contain the unidentifiable record data from most of the key ABS social and labour household surveys. Participating universities used more than 480 files over 3 years to December 2001. All universities were invited to participate in this Agreement.
In Queensland, the Australian Catholic University (McAuley campus), Central Queensland University, Griffith University, University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology have access to both CURFs and AusStats, while Bond University, James Cook University, University of Sunshine Coast and University of Southern Queensland have access to AusStats.
For information on CURFs or AusStats in the university sector, refer to the ABS Web Site “Education - Services for Universities” or email Intermediary.management
Measures of Labour Underutilisation
The ABS has recently developed a series of supplementary measures of labour underutilisation. These measures, together with unemployment statistics, provide a broad view of existing and potential labour resources and the extent to which they are being utilised.
An Information Paper Measures of Labour Underutilisation (Cat. no. 6296.0), released on 27 February 2002, describes the measures in detail and discusses plans for possible future developments. The measures of labour underutilisation will be updated on a regular basis, commencing with an article in Labour Force, Australia (Cat. no. 6203.0) in mid-2002 and as tables on a quarterly basis from then on.
The ABS already provides a wide range of data on available labour resources and the extent of labour utilisation. These include data on persons with a marginal attachment to the labour force (in particular, discouraged jobseekers) and persons who are underemployed. The supplementary measures of labour underutilisation, based on these data, are an important addition to ABS labour statistics. Comments are sought from the labour statistics user community on the usefulness of the measures and priorities for future development work.
For further information contact Harry Kroon, Labour Market Section, on 02 6252 6753 or harry.kroon
Business Counts Now Based on Australian Business Register and ABNs
The most recent ABS Business Register data for all industries was for September 1998. Since then, the ABS has prepared a new series of datasets which have been sourced from the Australian Taxation Office registrations of Australian Business Numbers (ABNs). The new datasets on offer are:
1. Australian Business Register Counts of ABNs: Single location businesses (October 2000)
Available data items:
2. Australian Business Register Counts of ABNs: Single State employing businesses (October 2000)
Available data items:
If you would you like to know more about this collection, the Occasional Paper: Australian Business Register - A Snapshot, 2000 (Cat. no. 1369.0) is available on the ABS web site. This publication may be downloaded without charge and includes Australian Business Register data.
For further information, contact Peter McMillan on 07 3222 6198 or peter.mcmillan
Measuring Australia’s Progress
The first issue of a new publication, Measuring Australia’s Progress, (Cat. no. 1370.0) will be launched by the Australian Statistician on 4 April 2002.
Measuring Australia’s Progress (MAP) is part of the contribution of the ABS to the growing interest and discussion on the inter-relationships between economic, social and environmental aspects of life. Additionally, there is interest in whether and how economic growth affects health, education, crime and other social concerns.
MAP considers some of the key aspects of progress side by side and discusses how they are linked with one another. It provides a national summary of many of the most important areas of progress, presenting them in a way which can be quickly understood. MAP does not purport to measure every aspect of progress that is important, nor does it consider all of the many different ways that parts of Australia and groups within Australia are progressing.
MAP’s headline dimensions include National Income, National Wealth, Crime, Education, Economic Disadvantage, Work, Biodiversity, Health, Land clearance, Land degradation, Air quality, Greenhouse, Inland waters, Social attachment and Housing.
Each headline indicator will be presented in the same format. The commentary will begin by discussing why the dimension is important to progress and what an ideal measure of progress might be for that area. For many areas, the ideal indicator is not yet available so we explain how the indicator we have chosen differs from it. After discussing change in the indicator at the national level, the differences in the rates or even directions of progress for different population subgroups or areas of Australia will be examined. Factors that influence change in each dimension will be discussed, noting the links to those other dimensions that are most strongly influenced by (or influence) the dimension in question.
The publication will be arranged in three main sections:
Where data are available, we intend to publish on the ABS web site, tables of State data corresponding to National indicators.
For more information please contact Jon Hall on 02 6252 7221 or jon.hall
Progress in Queensland
In last month’s issue, we mentioned that the Queensland office of the ABS was planning a project called Queensland's Progress and Wellbeing. Our efforts are currently directed towards identifying the indicators used in MAP that are available at the State and sub-State levels. A strategy to facilitate access to these indicators and other data of importance to Queensland is also being developed .
For more information, please contact Robyn MacDonald on 07 3222 6232 or robyn.macdonald
Developments in New Motor Vehicle Statistics
Since the early 1950s the ABS has collected and published monthly statistics on New Motor Vehicle Registrations (NMVR), which provided a proxy for vehicle sales and was mainly used for economic analysis. However, a system that directly measures sales of new vehicles, called VFACTS, was developed in the early 1990s by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
The NMVR and VFACTS collections produce outputs which are largely comparable and which have tracked closely for some time. Given this duplication, the ABS will cease its NMVR collection after the release of statistics relating to the month of December 2001. From January 2002, the ABS will publish monthly statistics on sales of new vehicles based on the VFACTS collection.
VFACTS is based on retail sales by all FCAI member companies. The data are provided electronically to FCAI with virtually 100% coverage. The industry regards the output as very reliable and revisions are rarely made to published outputs.
The ABS will no longer produce any statistics on registrations (or sales) of new motorcycles, plant and equipment or unpowered vehicles. However, the annual motor vehicle census conducted by the ABS will continue to provide information which will assist users to analyse characteristics of these vehicle populations.
The ABS will publish original, seasonally adjusted and trend tables based on the VFACTS series. These tables will be released in Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia, Electronic Publication (Cat. no. 9314.0) through the ABS web site and will also be published in the monthly ABS publication Australian Economic Indicators (Cat. no. 1350.0). The first release of the data was 20 February 2002. Time series data for new motor vehicle sales will also be available electronically through the ABS web site in 9314.0.55.001. Detailed data such as vehicle make and model or small geographic areas will not be available from the ABS; such data will be available only from FCAI.
In addition, the ABS will continue to conduct the annual census of motor vehicles and the publication Motor Vehicle Census (Cat. no. 9309.0). Detailed data from the motor vehicle census are available from the ABS as a special data service on request.
The ABS will also:
Although the ABS is ceasing the NMVR collection, the needs of users will continue to be broadly met, through either the ABS or other agencies such as the FCAI.
For further information contact Tony Webb on 07 3222 6185 or tony.webb
Estimates of Household Wealth
The ABS is well under way with a project to compile new estimates of Australian household wealth. Work on the project commenced in 2000, in response to user demand for data on the accumulation and distribution of wealth across Australian households. The project is combining data from the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA), ABS household surveys and a number of other data sources to create estimates of wealth at a detailed level.
Several different methods are being used to compile the estimates, depending on the type of asset or liability that is being estimated and the type of data which already exists. The estimates produced will include breakdowns of the assets, liabilities and net worth of households, building on the breakdowns contained in the ASNA Household Balance Sheet. The project is also attempting to estimate this information for different household types (based on the composition of the household and the ages of the people within it), income deciles and other household characteristics. Experimental estimates for the years from 1993-94 to 1999-2000 are nearing completion.
It is expected that final estimates will be released to the public as a discussion paper in the first half of 2002.
For further information please contact Kristen Northwood on 02 6252 5854 or kristen.northwood
Education Publications To Be Released Soon
The National Centre for Education and Training Statistics was established in July 2000 and launched its theme page as part of the ABS web site on 1 February 2001. The new page can be accessed at www.abs.gov.au/ncets. Client inquiries can be sent to the following email address: <email@example.com>.
The theme page is updated regularly to include any new information, for example, the publication Education and Work, Australia, May 2001 (Cat. no. 6227.0) is expected to be released on 22 March 2002. Previously titled Transition from Education to Work, Australia, this edition contains summary statistics for Queensland on the following topics:
More detailed information at the State and national level on education participation, attainment, transition between education and work, and apprentices is available on request.
For further information contact James Ashburner on 02 6252 7934 or james.ashburner
Education and Training Experience, Australia, 2001 (Cat. no. 6278.0), which is produced every 4 years, is due for release at the end of May 2002. The publication will include statistics for Queensland covering level of highest educational attainment, level of education of current study, number of work-related training courses completed in the last 12 months, training course outcomes and education and training characteristics.
More detailed information at the State and national level will be available on request.
Education and training topics in the 2001 survey cover the following topics:
For further information contact John Sant on 02 6252 6577 or john.sant
Review of Local Government Statistical Arrangements
The ABS acknowledges the importance of local governments as users of statistical information in evaluating, planning and delivering services at the local area level. They also provide a considerable amount of information to the ABS and other official bodies on their activities. This information includes building approvals, employment and wages, environmental and cultural expenditures, financial statements, water and sewerage operations, immunisation and, as part of funding submissions, regulatory functions and other reports.
Recognising the importance of this relationship with local government, the ABS completed a review of ABS local government statistical arrangements. The major findings of the review are:
An outcome of the review was the creation of a Local Government Statistics Unit in the ABS Brisbane office. This unit is being progressively established during 2001-02. The purpose of centralising these functions is to increase the profile of local government statistical needs within the ABS and to provide a central unit to coordinate local government sector data collection activities within the ABS.
For further information contact Tara Pritchard on 07 3222 6257 or tara.pritchard
Review of the Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced
The ABS is reviewing the Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced (VACP) series. The review encompasses all facets of the agricultural commodities prices collection activity, including the concepts, sources, methods, systems and user requirements for this data.
The review will focus on two broad issues regarding statistical requirements. The first is how users use the VACP statistics and any shortfalls they perceive in the service provided by the program. The second is to look at, in more detail, at the Agricultural Program’s current published data and data available on request. Issues will include whether the ABS is publishing information which is of the highest priority and whether the data are being presented in the optimal way.
The ABS regularly reviews its collections to ensure the provision of a high quality, objective National Statistical Service. In line with this strategic objective, the main outcome of this review will be the assurance of maximised future relevance, reliability and user satisfaction of the VACP series.
For further information, or to provide input, contact Glen Dunn on 07 3222 6155 or glen.dunn
Consultation with Users of Building and Construction Data
Program management of ABS Building and Construction Statistics are seeking input from major users of their data in two areas:
The information gathered will assist in determining future requirements for a possible survey (or suite of collections) of the construction industry and in determining further enhancements and refinements to the current activity collections and the outputs produced from these collections.
Users of building and construction data are invited to contact the ABS with information about their data needs.
For further information contact Glen Dunn on 07 3222 6155 or glen.dunn
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