1001.0 - Annual Report - ABS Annual Report, 2001-02  
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Contents >> Section 4 - ABS Outputs >> Chapter 6 - Economic Statistics Output - Review of Components

The remainder of this Chapter reviews the activities and achievements of each component of the Economic Statistics program during 2001–02.


National Accounts

The national accounts component produces statistics which form the core of the Australian system of national accounts. These statistics summarise, in a systematic and comprehensive way, the economic transactions that take place within the Australian economy and between Australia and the rest of the world. The usefulness of the accounts derives largely from the way in which data from a number of sources are brought together and presented in a conceptually consistent way, both for a given period and over time. Australia’s national accounts essentially accord with the recommendations contained in the 1993 issue of the System of National Accounts (SNA93), which is the international standard for national accounts statistics.

Senior staff of the component attend meetings of the Joint Economic Forecasting Group (comprising major Commonwealth Government economic policy agencies) to provide advice on the statistics used as input to the forecasting process.

Achievements during the year included:

  • publication of the second edition of Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 2000-01 (cat. no. 5249.0);
  • publication for the first time in Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) of an experimental national balance sheet expressed in volume terms;
  • publication of a feature article in the Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) regarding the measurement of national and sectoral saving, income and wealth;
  • publication of feature articles in the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0) on improved methods adopted by the ABS in respect of productivity statistics; and the introduction of new Real Net National Disposal Income and Real Gross State Domestic Income measures;
  • continued contributions to the work of the London Group on Environmental Accounting, including the draft manual, System of Environmental and Economic Accounts;
  • participation in a number of international working parties which have been formed to consider various matters of current importance in a national accounting context. These include task forces on the treatment of software and financial and insurance services. A number of papers were also prepared and presented in a variety of forums both domestically and internationally; and
  • provision of technical assistance to the statistical agencies of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in relation to the compilation of national accounts statistics.


International Accounts

The international accounts component produces statistics and related information on the balance of payments, international trade in services and the international investment position. Balance of payments and international investment position statistics are published quarterly and annually, while the international trade in goods and services statistics are published monthly.

Achievements during the year included:
  • publication of a special article, ‘Measuring Australia’s Foreign Currency Exposure’, in the December 2001 issue of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0). The article presented results of an ABS survey that collected quantitative and qualitative data about Australian enterprises’ foreign currency exposure and the risk management practices associated with that exposure;
  • publication of special articles on ‘International Trade in Educational Services’ and ‘Foreign Ownership of Equity’ in the September 2001 issue of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0);
  • significant progress with data comparisons between the Survey of International Investment and the Survey of Financial Institutions leading to convergence of the two sets of data;
  • publication of a special article, ‘Foreign Ownership Characteristics of Information Technology Businesses’, in the March 2002 issue of Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0);
  • provision of assistance to the Productivity Commission’s Offshore Investment Survey 2001;
  • contribution to the development of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s manual on Globalisation Indicators and further development of globalisation indicators for Australia;
  • development of a survey of outward foreign affiliates trade in services for the reference year 2001-02; and
  • contribution to the presentation of a seminar on International Investment Position Statistics in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, organised by the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Indonesia for the Association of South East Asian Nation countries.


International Trade

The international trade component produces statistics on the value, composition, destination and source of Australia’s merchandise exports and imports. These statistics are available on a range of output media, including publications, magnetic cartridge, email, floppy disk and paper reports, and can be tailored to the needs of individual clients. A theme page for international trade on the ABS web site provides users with an extensive set of reference material.

Achievements during the year included:
  • publication of special articles in International Merchandise Trade, Australia (cat. no. 5422.0), including an analysis of Australia’s export markets, 1991-92 to 2000-01 (in June quarter 2001), a description of the changes in the Harmonized Commodity Coding and Description System (in September quarter 2001), or Harmonized System, and an analysis of Australia’s trade in wine (in December quarter 2001);
  • completion of a review of the statistical codes for exports and imports to reflect changes in the International Harmonized System, and their implementation in entries lodged with the Australian Customs Service (Customs) from 1 January 2002;
  • continued participation with Customs in its Cargo Management Re-engineering project, in particular the Accredited Client Program, which will allow selected importers and exporters to report to Customs monthly, rather than for each transaction; and
  • substantial progress with investigations into the use of the Australian Business Number to expand the range of information available about Australian businesses engaged in exporting and importing activity.


Financial Accounts

The financial accounts component produces, as part of the Australian system of national accounts, statistics on the financial profile of each sector of the economy, and the markets for various categories of financial instruments. Information on inter-sectoral financial transactions is also provided. Extensive reference material relating to financial statistics is available from the finance theme page on the ABS web site.

The component also produces statistics on the lending activity and balance sheets of financial institutions such as banks, building societies, finance companies, credit unions, unit trusts and superannuation funds.

A significant stream of work for the year was continued cooperation with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and data providers for rationalised and harmonized data collection from the financial sector. During the year this project saw:
  • commencement, on the new basis of operational data collection and dissemination by APRA, of Authorised Depository Corporation statistics (banks, building societies and credit unions) for use by APRA, RBA and the ABS;
  • changes to legislation to assist APRA to collect data from regulated institutions, and registered institutions not otherwise regulated (such as money market corporations and finance companies) in place of ABS collections;
  • agreement on the design of data collection for lending activity for all registered and regulated institutions, and for other financial reports from registered institutions; and
  • continued cooperation with APRA on collection and production of superannuation statistics, in conjunction with the Australian Taxation Office.

Other achievements during the year included the release of a new publication Venture Capital, Australia (cat. no. 5678.0).


Public Sector Accounts

The public sector accounts component provides government finance statistics for the Australian Commonwealth Government, state and territory governments, their public non-financial and financial corporations, local governments, and universities. In addition to a range of annual publications, quarterly statistics are compiled for inclusion in the national accounts, and detailed financial statistics about individual local government authorities are provided on request. The component provides advice on the statistics used as input to the forecasting work of the Public Sector Subcommittee of the Joint Economic Forecasting Group.

Achievements during the year included:
  • contribution to the development of the International Monetary Fund’s publication A Manual on Government Finance Statistics released in December 2001, which is aimed at improving the measurement and international comparability of accrual-based government finances;
  • completion of a major review of local government statistics, which resulted in a number of new initiatives in respect of the compilation and dissemination of local government statistics;
  • a review of the public finance program to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations. Work commenced on implementing the recommendations in January 2002; and
  • preparation of the Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods manual, which is planned for publication in early 2002-03.


Prices

The prices component is responsible for compiling the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a range of producer and international trade price indexes, and the Wage Cost Index (WCI).

The CPI measures the change each quarter in the cost of purchasing a fixed basket of consumer goods and services. The producer and international trade price indexes include price indexes of inputs and outputs of manufacturing industry; materials used in the building industry; outputs of selected service industries; and exports and imports. The WCI measures the change in wage and salary costs in the Australian labour market, in isolation of changes in the quality and quantity of work performed.

Achievements during the year included:
  • a major review of the prices program which was carried out in the second half of 2001. The review recommended a number of ways of improving the efficiency of the operations of the program. Work commenced on implementing the recommendations in June 2002;
  • presentation of a paper ‘Improving our Knowledge and Analysis of Changes in Poverty and Inequality: The International Statistical Architecture’ to the G-20 Workshop hosted by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Department of Treasury in May 2002. The paper set out the statistical issues underlying international comparisons of poverty and income inequality;
  • amalgamating ten publications containing the quarterly producer price indexes into two publications in July 2001; one covers the price indexes for exports and imports, while the other contains all the remaining producer price indexes compiled by the ABS;
  • a feature article on seasonally adjusting the WCI which was published in the April 2002 issue of Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0); and
  • an article on purchasing power parities and real expenditures in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries which was published in the March 2002 issue of Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0).


Business Statistics

The business statistics program produces indicators of current economic activity through the publication of quarterly estimates of company profits, sales, inventories and wages, and current and future economic activity, in respect of new capital expenditure.

Achievements during the year included:
  • introducing a new publication Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0) which consolidated estimates of company profits, sales, inventories and wage and salaries and replaced two existing publications;
  • presenting an increased range of data including:
    • original, seasonally adjusted and trend estimates of income from sales of goods and services (in both current price and chain volume terms) for an expanded range of industries;
    • state/territory data for income from sales of goods and services in original current price terms;
    • wages and salaries (in original current price terms) at both the national and state/territory level; and
    • seasonally adjusted and trend estimates by industry for the new profits measure introduced in the previous financial year.
  • increasing the coverage of the company profits series to companies with 20-30 employees;
  • introducing the concurrent seasonal adjustment methodology for inventories and income from sales of goods and services;
  • the earlier release of state estimates of new capital expenditure by including the state data in the national publication; and
  • commencing the collection of expenditure on computer software as part of the quarterly Survey of New Capital Expenditure.


Economy Wide Statistics

The economy wide statistics component is responsible for a range of annual statistics on the financial operations and performance of businesses in the Australian economy. The component also conducts a quarterly survey of expectations of short and medium term business performance, which covers the whole economy except agriculture and general government.

Achievements during the year included:
  • conduct of the inaugural Business Generosity Survey which was undertaken in conjunction with the 2000-01 Economic Activity Survey. Estimates were released in Generosity of Australian Businesses, 2000-01 (cat. no. 8157.0);
  • release of experimental estimates at the 4 digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) class level for a range of industries in Australian Industry, 1999–2000 (cat. no. 8155.0); and
  • release of Experimental Estimates, Australian Industry, 1999-2000 (cat. no. 8156.0) which presents experimental state estimates at the 2 digit ANZSIC class level for selected industries.


Small Business Statistics

The small business statistics component produces data about the size, structure and performance of small and medium sized businesses, to assist policy makers, researchers and the community to understand the behaviour of the sector.

Achievements during the year included:
  • preparation of a publication of summary data updating estimates of the number and employment of small businesses in Australia in Small Business in Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 1321.0), which is due for release in August 2002;
  • release of a fourth publication from a household survey of small business operators: Characteristics of Small Business, Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 8127.0), as well as preparatory work for the next edition; and
  • completion of a number of research topics for clients on small and medium sized business performance using data from the Business Longitudinal Survey and Characteristics of Small Business Survey.


Science and Technology

The science and technology component provides statistics on innovation, research and experimental development, and information technology. The latter include statistics on the demand for information technologies by businesses, government, households and farms, and on the supply and distribution of information technology and telecommunications goods and services.

Achievements during the year included:
  • publication of Research and Experimental Development, Higher Education Organisations, Australia, 2000 (cat. no. 8111.0);
  • publication of statistics measuring government information technology expenditure and employment in Government Use of Information Technology 1999-2000, Australia (cat. no. 8119.0);
  • publication of information on the use of information technology on farms, including regional statistics on the use of computers and the internet in Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, June 2000 (cat. no. 8150.0);
  • continued work on a draft framework for measuring the Knowledge-based Economy and Society, for which a discussion paper is scheduled for release in early 2002-03; and
  • contributions to the development, by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, of statistical standards for science and technology indicators particularly in relation to standards for research and development statistics and biotechnology statistics, electronic commerce, and measuring household and business use of information technology.


Agriculture

The agriculture component provides statistics on the structure, performance and production of the agriculture industry. Data collected and disseminated include monthly information on livestock slaughterings, quarterly information on poultry slaughterings and wool receivals by brokers and dealers, and detailed annual information on the operations of farm businesses including commodity production and other characteristics such as land management practices. Every five years a census of farm businesses, rather than a sample, is undertaken to provide a comprehensive picture of the sector and to provide detailed regional and commodity data.

A range of derived statistics, including estimates of the value of agricultural commodities produced, is also provided by the agriculture component.

Achievements during the year included:
  • development of the 2001-02 Agricultural Coverage Survey;
  • further refinement of the agricultural statistics theme page on the ABS web site to provide users with better access to a range of statistical advice, information, and issues important to providers and clients, as well as details on the products and services available;
  • completion of coordination arrangements with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics for collection of farm finance statistics;
  • in consultation with key stakeholders, the first phase of the development of the future collection strategy for the ABS agricultural statistics program and a national agricultural statistics system;
  • successful conduct of the five-yearly 2000-01 Agricultural Census, the final results of which will be released in November 2002;
  • development work on aspects of geocoding of agricultural census data; and
  • development work associated with the transition to a register of farms based on the Australian Business Register.


Mining

The mining component conducts annual surveys of the mining, electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries to provide statistics on the structure, performance and production of these industries. The component also conducts quarterly collections of actual and expected mineral and petroleum exploration.

Achievements during the year included:
  • making available, for the first time, current and historical mineral and petroleum exploration statistics on ABS AusStats;
  • development of a collection strategy to optimise the benefits in terms of outputs and reducing the reporting load of businesses, resulting from the introduction of The New Tax System. The changes include the use of business income tax data for the production of mining estimates;
  • development of procedures for the handling of unincorporated joint ventures in all economic statistics collections; and
  • completion of the feasibility study into the collection of cost of land access in mineral exploration.


Manufacturing

The manufacturing component provides statistics on the structure, performance and production of the manufacturing industry. Data collected and disseminated include commodity production statistics, and extensive statistics on the structure, financial operations, performance, and other characteristics of the manufacturing industry. The latter set of statistics is obtained from an annual manufacturing industry survey.

Achievements during the year included:
  • further development of a collection strategy to optimise the benefits in terms of outputs and reducing the reporting load on businesses resulting from the introduction of The New Tax System. The changes include the use of business income tax data for the production of manufacturing estimates; and
  • implementation of the recommendations from the review of the annual manufacturing industry survey.


Construction

The construction component produces statistics on the structure, performance and other characteristics of the construction industry, and timely indicators of activity for the three components of construction: residential building; non-residential building; and engineering construction. Sources of data include monthly building approvals reported by approving authorities, and quarterly surveys of building activity and engineering construction. The component also conducts a construction industry survey on an irregular basis to provide measures of the structure of the construction industry as a whole.

Achievements during the year included:
  • increased use of sampling techniques in building collections which significantly reduced costs and provider load, without significantly impinging on statistical quality;
  • development and release of a building and construction theme page on the ABS web site; and
  • expansion of a research program that resulted in the production of a number of research and feature articles that explored issues with building statistics, the community and the economy, such as ‘The Relationship Between Changes in Interest Rates and Building Approvals’ published in the November 2001 issue of Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0) and ‘Largest and Fastest Growing Areas in Australia’ published in the November 2001 issue of Building Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0).


Transport

The transport component provides monthly analytical statistics on sales of new motor vehicles, annual statistics of motor vehicle use, together with the associated motor vehicle censuses which provide data on the characteristics of the Australian vehicle population and a periodic collection of freight movements for road, rail, sea and air modes. Other activities include maintenance of the transport theme page and transport newsletter updates on the ABS web site, irregular production of a directory of transport statistics, occasional compendium publications, and the development and promotion of statistical frameworks and classifications.

Achievements during the year included:
  • first release of the publication Freight Movements, Australia, Summary (cat. no. 9220.0) presenting results, using a new survey methodology, of estimates of freight movements by road, rail, sea and air for the 12 months ended 31 March 2001;
  • release of Information Paper: Developments in New Motor Vehicle Statistics (cat. no. 9313.0) which provided an outline of the future role of the ABS in relation to statistics on new motor vehicles; and
  • the introduction of the monthly electronic publication Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia (cat. no. 9314.0) in February 2002 following the cessation of New Motor Vehicle Registrations, Australia: Preliminary (cat. no. 9301.0) in January 2002. This publication presents information on sales of new motor vehicles in each state/territory in original, seasonally adjusted and trend terms with original data sourced from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.


Service Industries

The service industries component produces statistics on the size, structure, operations and output of a range of Australian service industries.

Achievements during the year included:
  • completion of the 1999-2000 round of publications: Community Services, Australia (cat. no. 8696.0); Television Services, Australia (cat. no. 8559.0); Film and Video Production and Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 8679.0); Performing Arts Industries, Australia (cat. no. 8697.0); Commercial Art Galleries, Australia (cat. no. 8651.0); Hire Industries, Australia (cat. no. 8567.0); and Veterinary Services, Australia (cat. no. 8564.0);
  • publication of 2000-01 publications Clubs, Pubs, Taverns and Bars, Australia (cat. no. 8687.0); Casinos, Australia (cat. no. 8683.0); Selected Amusement and Leisure Industries, Australia (cat. no. 8688.0); and Business Events Venues Industry, Australia (cat. no. 8566.0);
  • methodological research into surveys of the private practice medical industry, legal services, accounting services, employment placement and contract staff services, market research services and consulting engineering services industries; and
  • user consultations undertaken in relation to proposed surveys of the real estate, film and video production and distribution, television services, hire, music and theatre production and waste disposal services industries to be conducted in respect of 2002-03.


Retail Survey

The component also covers the retail survey which produces monthly retail turnover statistics. As well as being important in its own right as an indicator of economic activity, retail turnover forms a substantial component of private final consumption expenditure measures in the Australian national accounts.

Achievements during the year included:
  • refining the seasonal adjustment process to take account of Easter occurring in late March or early April when some or all pre-Easter shopping is undertaken in March;
  • reviewing and implementing revised collection strategy and operational procedures arising from The New Tax System; and
  • coordinating the comparative benchmarking of processes and costs for monthly retail collections across a number of international statistical agencies.


Tourism

The tourism component produces quarterly statistics on capacity and demand for tourist accommodation in Australia. Other activities include the development and promotion of statistical frameworks and classifications, production of a quarterly analytical publication Tourism Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 8634.0), and irregular production of a directory of tourism statistics.

Achievements during the year included:
  • a review of the Survey of Tourist Accommodation involving extensive user consultation to assess the appropriateness of the current survey collection and dissemination strategy and to identify improvements; and
  • release of feature articles in Tourism Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 8634.0) covering topics such as the Tourism Satellite Account and tourist accommodation developments since 1998.


Environment

The environment component collects and publishes environment and energy statistics, including environment accounts. Within these fields, the component plays a coordinating role in the collection of data, undertakes research, and implements international accounting frameworks for new collections and current data holdings.

Achievements during the year included:
  • development and dispatch of the first Salinity and Land Management Survey (as a follow-up to the 2001 Agricultural Census). Farmers were asked how salinity issues are affecting them, how they manage or prevent salinity, and the factors that influence land management decisions on farms;
  • further progress and exploratory work associated with Water Accounts, Forest Accounts, Waste Accounts and Land Accounts; and
  • conduct of an Environment Management Survey in respect of 2000-01 for the manufacturing and mining sectors. The survey collected information on expenditure by businesses on environment management and protection, and information on a range of other environmental practices. Results from the survey will be published in early 2002-03.


Statistical Consultancy

The statistical consultancy component helps the ABS and external users to meet their information needs through the provision of sample design, statistical methods, methodological reviews, data analysis and statistical training services.

Achievements during the year included:
  • provision of methodological advice to the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), including a review of the completeness of the electoral role and the Centrelink Aged Pension Survey;
  • assistance to the Department of Health and Ageing on analysis of data from the Survey of Aged Care Homes;
  • development of a data collection assessment framework for the Department of Education, Science and Training;
  • analytical service to the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority, for estimation of nutrition adjustment factors using data from the ABS National Nutrition Survey;
  • provision of advice on sampling methodology for valuations of the Australian National Library, and a review of GST compliance by the ANAO;
  • advice on developing a comprehensive data strategy for the Management Advisory Committee on the Organisational Renewal Project; and
  • assistance to the Productivity Commission for the Survey of Offshore Investment.


Statistical Coordination

The statistical coordination component is responsible for the development and operation of the Commonwealth Government Statistical Clearing House. The Statistical Clearing House was established in July 1997 in response to a recommendation of the Small Business Deregulation Task Force. All surveys conducted by, or on behalf of, the Commonwealth Government, involving 50 or more businesses, are subject to review and approval by the Statistical Clearing House prior to data collection.

The Statistical Clearing House has three main objectives: to reduce the load imposed by the Commonwealth Government on business, particularly small business, by eliminating duplication, and ensuring that the design and conduct of business surveys follow good practices; to improve the value of survey outputs by improving the quality of survey methods used; and to improve the use of survey outputs by improving access to documentation of these outputs.

Achievements during the year included:
  • completion of 115 reviews, of which 37% have resulted in an improvement to the survey or a reduction in respondent load;
  • implementation of the recommendations from the review of the performance of the Statistical Clearing House;
  • the development of new marketing material to publicise the Statistical Clearing House to government agencies; and
  • the development of enhanced networks with non-ABS agencies to enable identification of non-ABS surveys which are in scope of the Statistical Clearing House review.


Australian Economic Indicators

The Australian economic indicators sub-component publishes Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0), a monthly compendium of key national, state and international economic time series. It also contains feature articles, provides a quarterly economic review of the economy, and reports an experimental composite leading indicator of the Australian business cycle.

Achievements during the year included:
  • a review of the Australian Economic Indicators to assess the usefulness of the publication and areas for improvement; and
  • commencement of a review of the experimental composite leading indicator of the Australian business cycle.


Statistical Services and User Liaison

This component provides a flexible and responsive service to meet priority statistical needs of state and territory governments, additional to those met by ongoing statistical activities of the ABS. The work is undertaken by ABS regional offices and generally takes the form of statistical consultation (such as design, development and conduct of a survey), statistical analysis, modelling of existing ABS or client data, statistical training, and the presentation of seminars for a broad range of clients. Officers are also outposted to state or territory government agencies to carry out specific short-term statistical assignments.

Through this component, the ABS participates in bodies established by state or territory governments to coordinate their statistical activities and requirements in line with national statistical service objectives. This component also maintains bilateral contact with state and territory government departments and agencies in order to be aware of their needs for statistics, their statistical activities and their use of information from existing collections, and to encourage the adoption of uniform statistical standards and practices.

Achievements during the year included:
  • development and release of statistical products including: small area population projections by age and sex (New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory); regional profiles (New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia); Indigenous population profiles (South Australia); new datasets (state and sub-state) have been identified in several states (for example, Victoria has identified 67 new state level datasets and 26 new sub-state datasets); and regional small business (Queensland) and disability (New South Wales) data;
  • conduct of various household surveys including Crime and Safety (New South Wales); Teleworking (New South Wales); and Safety in the Home (Queensland); as well as assistance with the development and conduct of a Survey of Aboriginal Child Health (Western Australia);
  • reviews and/or assessments of state agency data holdings in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, including datasets about transition of youth to adulthood (South Australia); supported accommodation assistance (Northern Territory); and road safety (Tasmania);
  • assistance to the states with strategic indicator projects including a framework for indicators of regional wellbeing for Growing Victoria Together; and statistical information management for Tasmania Together;
  • identification of data sources in priority policy areas including a study of the Western Australia resource industry; and sources of regional statistics (New South Wales);
  • statistical analysis including Perth housing density; gross value of Western Australia fisheries; small area measures of non-standard census districts (New South Wales); and estimations for the Survey of Recreational Fishing (New South Wales); and
  • continuing engagement with state and territory governments about their strategic statistical requirements and their contribution to further development of the national statistical service.


National Centre for Rural and Regional Statistics

The National Centre for Rural and Regional Statistics is responsible for providing leadership for, and coordination and integration of, rural and regional statistics specifically through:
  • the development of new regional statistics that are nationally comparable;
  • the development of new regional statistics from Commonwealth Government administrative data;
  • the production of an Information Development Plan for rural and regional statistics and the subsequent development of a statistical framework; and
  • improving access to ABS and non-ABS statistics.

The main achievement of the National Centre, which was in its first year of operation, was the production of experimental estimates of wage and salary earners in regional Australia using Australian Taxation Office individual income tax return data. These estimates were released in Information Paper: Use of Individual Income Tax Data for ABS Regional Statistics - Wage and Salary Indicators for Small Areas (cat. no. 5673.0) in November 2001.


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