1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Jun 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2010   
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A World Without Statistics

Do stats really count?

Doubts On Inflation
The Prime Minister guessed that inflation was running at just 0.5% annually. The Leader of the Opposition countered that it was his guess that inflation was actually around 10%. The Greens figured it was probably somewhere in between.

Immigration Debate Hots Up
Conflicting claims were presented at a forum on immigration in Perth last week. The Coalition for a Sustainable Australia claimed that WA was being swamped by migrants, by their guess over 100,000 entering the state last year. Business groups rejected that, claiming a poll of their members showed that if immigration was not increased ten-fold WA would have no people left after 2050.

World Bank Downgrades Australia
Australia had its credit rating downgraded to ZZZ status. The World Bank said this was because it guessed that Australia’s balance of payments had blown out to $700 trillion in the red. The Reserve Bank rejected this assessment and claimed a better guess would have been a credit of $800 million and an unprecedented AAAA+ rating.

Retail Sales Down Over Winter
Retailers are concerned that sales of beach wear in Australia during the winter period had fallen by over 80%. This was based on accounts by association members who reported that sales of bathers and summer clothing in June has been disastrous. This is apart from the odd sale of budgie smugglers in the ACT. In the absence of official data it is assumed this trend is Australia wide for the entire retail sector.

TEE Exam Bedlam
Tempers flared as angry TEE students protested about the examiners estimate of Australia’s population at 57.4 million. The students, whose own guesses ranged from 317 and 2 chooks to 85 trillion, claimed that their guesses were just as valid as the examiners’ and should have been accepted.

Indonesian shadow puppet

Smoking Deaths Increase?
The National Cancer Foundation today published their latest estimation on smoking related deaths. Their figure of 3.7 million annually in Australia is higher than the death toll in both world wars but, when questioned on this, a spokesperson stated, “It’s just a guess mind you, but we think it’s correct”. The tobacco industry countered that their guesses showed life expectancy actually increased in direct proportion to the number of cigarettes smoked.

Entire New Zealand Population to Move To Australia
The New Zealand government today applied for permanent resident visas for all NZers. This move was in response to the New Zealand Department of Agriculture’s stab at sheep numbers in the Land of the Long White Cloud. They picked a number of 627 zillion sheep, leaving no space available for any other living creature.

Wage Case Decision Soon
The full bench of the Australian Fair Pay Commission is expected to hand down its wages decision next week. Unions have been pushing for an across the board 25% rise to counter their guesses at cost of living increases. Employer groups however have speculated that the cost of living has actually declined and are arguing for a 10% decrease in wages.

ABS Enjoys 300th Consecutive Picnic
ABS staff, relieved of collecting official statistics over a year ago, yesterday enjoyed yet another all day picnic. Australian Statistician, Brian Pink, now weighing over 150kg and the grey hair all gone, said, “I don’t know how anyone knows it was our 300th picnic because I can assure you neither I nor my staff have been counting.”