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The ABS is Australia’s official national statistical agency. It was established as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, with the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The agency became the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1975 with the passing of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975. This Act also established the role of the Australian Statistician, and defined the functions of the ABS.
The ABS provides statistics on a wide range of economic, social, and, more recently, environmental matters, covering government, business and the community. It also has an important coordination function with respect to the statistical activities of other official bodies, both in Australia and overseas.
The ABS Corporate Plan was released in December 2005, and can be found on the ABS website (http://www.abs.gov.au). The plan outlines the strategies the ABS is using to achieve its mission, and sets out the direction for the ABS to meet future challenges.