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Year Book Australia is the principal reference work produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It provides a comprehensive and detailed statistical overview of various aspects of the economy and social conditions in Australia. In addition, it contains descriptive matter dealing with Australia’s geography and climate, the environment, government, international relations, defence, education, and the health and welfare systems.
The ABS and its predecessor, the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, have been providing a statistical service to the Australian, state and territory governments and to the Australian community for more than 100 years.
The first Official Year Book of the Commonwealth was published in 1908, although individual Australian states and colonies had been producing year books for several decades previously.
As with previous issues, some feature articles are included. The volunteer surf lifesaving movement is celebrating 100 years of continuous service to the community by patrolling Australia's surf beaches and protecting the lives of those who use them. The Australian Government has recognised this contribution by declaring 2007 the Year of the Surf Lifesaver. Surf Life Saving Australia gladly accepted the ABS's invitation to contribute an article to feature in this edition of the Year Book.
The International Council for Science in conjunction with the World Meteorological Organization established an International Polar Year (IPY) in 2007-2008. The ABS invited Professor Michael Stoddart, Australian Government Antarctic Division and Dr Tom Griffiths, Australian National University to contribute to a second feature article in this edition of the Year Book. The article looks at the prominent role Australia and Australians have played in Antarctica since the early exploration of the continent.
I am very grateful to these authors for their excellent contributions.
Statistics contained in this edition are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au> and the web sites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. You can browse tables, time series spreadsheets, data cubes, information papers, associated products and media releases that relate to topics covered in the Year Book, and download the information from the ABS web site at no cost.
Further information on the operations of government and non-government organisations referred to in this edition, including their administrative and legislative background, may be obtained from their individual web sites, the addresses of which are provided in the Year Book.
ABS products draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated.
Particular thanks are extended to those Australian Government and other organisations which have kindly supplied material for inclusion in this edition of the Year Book.
Thank you also to the many ABS staff who contributed to the preparation and production of Year Book Australia 2007.