1301.6.55.001 - Tasmanian Statistical News, Mar 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/03/2010   
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WHAT'S NEW



Artwork Launch - The Embodiment of Numbers
News from the Environment and Agriculture Business Statistics Centre
2011 Census is coming!
Geographic Information Systems Forum


ARTWORK LAUNCH - THE EMBODIMENT OF NUMBERS

The Tasmanian ABS office recently hosted the unveiling of a new item of Tasmanian Aboriginal art.

Commissioned by the Hobart Office, The Embodiment of Numbers was painted by three young Tasmanian Aboriginal people. It reflects images of significance in the lives of the young Aboriginal people as well as numbers which are relevant to the work of the ABS. Painting took place under the guidance of meenah mienne, an arts mentoring program for young Aboriginal offenders and youth at risk.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by representatives of meenah mienne, the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, the ABS, and local, state and commonwealth governments.

The painting will go on permanent display in the foyer of the Hobart Office.


Diagram: Image The Embodiment of Numbers


NEWS FROM THE ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE BUSINESS STATISTICS CENTRE

Hobart's Environment and Agriculture Business Statistics Centre (BSC) is busy with the upcoming releases of commodity and water estimates from the Agricultural Survey 2009. Final estimates for agricultural commodities (ie area of production of crops, livestock numbers) will be released in Agricultural Commodities, Australia (ABS cat. no. 7121.0) on 9 April 2010. Final water estimates (ie type and area of crops irrigated, water sources, irrigation methods) will be released in Water Use on Australian Farms (ABS cat. no. 4618.0).

In December 2009, the data from the benchmark Land Management Practices Survey of land owners in the Great Barrier Reef catchments was released in Land Management Practices in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment (ABS cat. no. 4619.0). The survey was funded under the Australian Government's Reef Rescue Program, with the data assisting in targeting areas where investments are required in order to change farming practices. Further data from the survey are due to be released in March 2010. For more information on this release, email: environment@abs.gov.au.

The BSC is continuing its publication format review and looking to find out more from data users so that environmental and agricultural data can be more easily used by a wider range of individuals. To make contributions to this review process, phone (03) 6222 5846 or email: agriculture.statistics@abs.gov.au.
2011 CENSUS IS COMING!

The 2011 Population and Housing Census is coming - and it’s going to be huge!

To give you an idea, the last census in 2006 cost $300 million and required processing 10 million forms making it the largest peacetime logistics operation in the history of Australia.

The key to achieving this feat is planning. The Australian Bureau of Statistics began planning for the 2011 Census way back in 2005, but you might have noticed that our efforts are really starting to ramp up now. The Tasmanian office staff have begun meeting local agencies around the state in order to find out as much information as possible about the local areas and its people.

One of the biggest challenges facing Census Collectors is determining which dwellings were unoccupied on the night of the Census. That is, when a Census Collector knocks on a door to either deliver or collect a form and nobody answers, how does the collector know if he or she has to come back at another time, or if the house was actually unoccupied that night? The answer to this question directly impacts our population and housing estimates. The more information we can give the Census Collectors the more accurate the data will be!

So if you work for an agency which can help the ABS determine in advance which houses are unoccupied (for example, you have a list of untenanted apartments, or houses that have been recently vacated, or you know which shacks in your area have been empty for years) please come and have a chat with our Census team or drop Ruth McArdle, our new Census Manager, a line on 6222 5767.

For further information contact tasmania.statistics@abs.gov.au or check out our 2011 Census of Population and Housing Local & Regional Engagement Strategy brochure (ABS cat. no. 2911.0.55.001).
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS FORUM

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently hosted a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) forum in its Hobart Office. The forum focused on products, processes and practices which would ensure that place-based data is collected, disseminated, and utilized in the most effective manner possible across agencies.

Several presentations were made by people working in the Tasmanian GIS community. The keynote session was led by Greg Pole who presented a picture of the Queensland Government's COMSIS. Presentations were also made by Michael Giudici (TASSIC), Ian Hughes (DIER), David Haynes (DHHS), Louise Hawker (DPaC/SIU) and Paul Williams (ABS). All of the presentations were well received and the workshop attendees enjoyed both lively discussions and great networking opportunities.

The forum participants agreed that there was a strong need for all agencies, individually and collectively - and at all levels - to strongly and cooperatively pursue principles for the governance, discoverability and accessibility of geographic data. The forum agreement supports current negotiations between the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Australian Bureau of Statistics to create Information Sharing principles that enunciate a whole-of-government approach to valuing, governing and coordinating 'data as an asset'.

It is hoped that these principles will improve the efficacy - and increase the number - of cross-agency statistical projects, and ultimately improve the quality of evidence-based decision making in Tasmania.