1001.0 - Annual Report - ABS Annual Report, 2003-04  
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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 2003-04.

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, which is the international standard for national accounts statistics.

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

Achievements during the year included:

  • introduction of quarterly supply and use tables into the editing process for compilation of quarterly estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • introduction of improved measures of labour input for the annual productivity measures which take into account changes in the quality of labour input
  • release of a feature article in Australian Economic Indicators (cat. no. 1350.0) on Australia's underground economy in the context of measuring Australia's GDP
  • establishment of a team to work on improved measures of economic growth in the states and territories
  • publication of feature articles on 'Statistical treatment of the 2003 rugby world cup'; 'Statistical treatment of economic activity in the Timor Sea'; 'Impact of the 2003-04 farm season on Australian production'; 'Supply and use tables and the quarterly national accounts'; and 'Measuring price change in the Australian economy' in Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0) and 'New analytical measures of income, saving and wealth' in Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0)
  • participation in and preparation of papers for a number of international working parties which have been formed to consider national accounts issues including task forces on the measurement of non-financial assets and pension funds
  • provision of technical assistance to the statistical agencies of Thailand, Indonesia, Tonga, Viet Nam and Timor L'este 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, the international investment position and globalisation indicators. Balance of payments and international investment position statistics are published quarterly and annually, international trade in goods and services statistics are published monthly and globalisation indicators are published periodically.

Achievements during the year included:

  • the inclusion from December quarter 2003 of detailed information on Australia's international investment position in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position (cat. no. 5302.0) for the most recent quarter, rather than with a quarter lag
  • development of a new irregular publication Economic Activity of Foreign Owned Businesses in Australia, 2000-01 (cat. no. 5494.0), based on data from the Economic Activity Survey and the Survey of International Investment
  • development of a new electronic annual publication Foreign Ownership of Australia's Exporters and Importers, 2002-03 (cat. no. 5496.0.55.001), based on merchandise trade and international trade in services data
  • coordinating Australia's response to the requirements of the International Monetary Fund's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), including the publication from June quarter 2003 of Australia's external debt liabilities classified and presented in accordance with the SDDS
  • publication of the feature article 'Australian Outward Foreign Affiliates Trade, 2002-03' on the ABS web site in conjunction with the May 2004 issue of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0), which presented preliminary results from the new Survey of Outward Foreign Affiliates Trade
  • publication of a feature article 'Foreign Ownership of Equity' in the September quarter 2003 Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0) publication
  • a significant contribution, through the preparation of papers and participation in international forums, to the review of international standards governing the compilation of economic accounts
  • contribution to the presentation of an IMF course on Balance of Payments Statistics and International Investment Position in Singapore in June 2004.

International Trade

The international trade component produces statistics on the value, composition, destination and source of Australia's international trade in goods and services. These statistics are available on a range of output media and can be tailored to meet 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 a number of feature articles on the ABS web site, concurrently with issues of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0), including statistics on Australia's exporters and importers, and Australia's trade with the United States of America
  • development of strategies for the implementation in 2004-05 of the Customs Cargo Management Re-engineering project and Accredited Client Program, so as to ensure the continuity and quality of Australia's international merchandise trade statistics
  • preparation of a paper on the Future Directions for International Trade in Services and Related Statistics for the Economic Statistics User Group (ESUG), and the formation of an International Trade in Services User Group (ITSUG) to consider options for improvements to these statistics
  • hosting international visitors from Viet Nam, Thailand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia for separate discussions and training, mostly relating to international trade in services
  • substantial progress on re-engineering the business processes and systems used to support the collection and processing of international merchandise trade statistics.

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.

The component also produces statistics on the lending activity 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 the continued cooperation with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Reserve Bank of Australia and data providers for rationalised and harmonised data collection from the financial sector.

Achievements during the year included:

  • backcasting financial accounts data for the period June 1988 to June 1995 from a SNA 1968 basis to a SNA 1993 basis
  • quality assurance and data confrontation work on superannuation data in conjunction with the national accounts area to reconcile the respective published data series
  • improvements in presentation, content and methods for lending activity statistics generally and housing finance statistics specifically.

Public Sector Accounts

The public sector accounts component provides government finance statistics for the Australian 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 work on harmonising Government Finance Statistics (GFS) and Australian accounting standards
  • completion of the Local Government Purpose Classification which will provide a framework for analysing the purpose or functions of local government financial transactions
  • further standardisation of local government forms and collection methodology in cooperation with local government grants commissions and departments of local government
  • release of Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 5514.0.55.001)
  • the first release of the quarterly electronic publication Government Finance Statistics, Australia, Quarterly (cat. no. 5519.0.55.001).

Prices

The prices component is responsible for compiling the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a range of Producer Price Indexes (PPI) and International Trade Price Indexes (ITPI), 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 PPI include price indexes of inputs and outputs of manufacturing industry; materials used in the building industry; outputs of selected service industries; and the supply of commodities to the Australian economy in a 'stage of production' framework. The ITPI are price indexes for 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:

  • release of an updated version of Australian Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6461.0)
  • release, on an ongoing basis, of seasonally adjusted and trend wage cost indexes
  • production of experimental spatial price indexes, designed to measure price levels between the six state capital cities, Canberra and Darwin
  • contribution to a chapter of the international CPI manual which is in the process of being published by the International Labour Organisation
  • significant progress in the development of an experimental index measuring price changes for financial services acquired by households
  • continued technical assistance to Thailand to develop price indexes for exports and imports, new houses and selected service industries
  • provision of technical assistance to Statistics South Africa to improve their prices data collection methodology
  • provision of assistance to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in setting up product specifications for use in the Asia/Pacific region component of the 2004 International Comparison Program.

Business Indicators

The business indicators component produces a range of sub-annual indicators of current economic activity. These indicators include monthly estimates of turnover by retail and selected service industries and economy wide quarterly estimates of company profits, sales, inventories, wages and new capital expenditure. The capital expenditure series include both actual and expected expenditure. The program also produces quarterly estimates of mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure. The data from the business indicators program are essential inputs into the compilation of quarterly and annual national accounts and input-output tables.

Achievements during the year included:

  • introducing in the February 2004 issue of Retail Trade, Australia (cat. no. 8501.0), a quarterly appendix on the contribution to the monthly retail series of net proceeds received from licensed gambling activities
  • introduction of experimental seasonally adjusted estimates of sales of goods and services for selected industries, and of wages and salaries for all industries in Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0)
  • finalising, in consultation with the Australian Taxation Office, a protocol which sets out the way in which the ABS uses taxation data
  • substantial progress towards the introduction of an improved estimation methodology and new sample design for the monthly retail business survey. Both the estimation method and sample design utilise Business Activity Statement data provided by the Australian Taxation Office. The number of businesses included in the survey will be reduced without any deterioration in the quality of the Retail Trade series.

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 outputs from this activity provide key inputs into the compilation of Australia's national accounts.

Achievements during the year included:

  • introduction of a new strategy to incorporate the full Australian Business Register (ABR) private sector and government trading business population into the Economic Activity Survey
  • development of bridging techniques to link the new ABR based Economic Activity Survey data with the previous annual series to enable the backcasting of national accounts series and to assist external users to understand the changes introduced
  • provision of advice to the Indonesian Statistics Office regarding a range of industry statistics matters.

Business Demography

The business demography component produces data about the size, structure and performance of businesses to assist policy makers, researchers and the community to understand the behaviour of businesses in the economy.

Achievements during the year included:

  • release of Characteristics of Small Business, Australia, 2003 (cat. no. 8127.0) which included summary data on the characteristics of small business operators and small businesses in Australia
  • development of requirements for the 2004 and 2005 Surveys of Characteristics of Small Business Owners, as supplementary surveys to the June Monthly Population Surveys. The results of the 2004 survey will be published in Characteristics of Small Business, Australia, 2004 (cat. no. 8127.0) which is due for release in early 2005
  • delivering a series of seminars and user consultations around Australia on small business statistics, and plans for developing a Business Entries and Exits series and a Business Longitudinal Database. As part of the user consultations, both internal and external advisory groups, and a discussion forum on the ABS web site have been established
  • development of a conceptual framework for the Business Entries and Exits series, and commenced development of experimental statistics on business entries and exits from the Australian economy for the last three financial years.

Science and Technology

The science and technology component provides statistics on innovation, research and experimental development, and information technology. Information technology includes 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:

  • the inaugural meeting in February 2004 of the Information and Communication Technology Reference Group involving a range of external users and providers of science and technology statistics
  • development, in consultation with key users, of a strategy for the collection of a range of biotechnology statistics
  • establishment of a Technical Review Group consisting of users and relevant experts to advise on the development of an Innovation Survey for the 2003 reference period. Output from the survey will be released in late 2004
  • creation of a new web-based product, Measures of a Knowledge-based Economy and Society, Australia - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 1377.0), released in September 2003. This product presents indicators within the conceptual framework outlined in the Discussion Paper: Measuring a Knowledge-based Economy and Society - An Australian Framework (cat. no. 1375.0). Regular updates of the web product are made as new data become available
  • contribution to the development of international statistical standards for science and technology indicators: through input to the revision of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Oslo Manual on Innovation Statistics; as a member of the OECD task force on Fields of Science classification for research and development statistics; by the contribution of a paper and presentation to the OECD Ad Hoc Meeting on Biotechnology Statistics; and, input to the revision of international model questionnaires on 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 slaughtering, quarterly information on poultry slaughtering 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 farm business and land management practices. User funding by industry associations is provided to obtain detailed information about vineyards, and for apples and pears. Every five years a census of farm businesses 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:

  • completion of the first year of collection of the Survey of Stocks of Grain on Hand
  • development of a coding system to allocate farms to identified geographic areas
  • investigating methods of capturing and presenting data in a spatial form
  • development of a strategy to use the ABR as the source of the population for agriculture collections
  • release of results from a coverage survey designed to measure the impact of moving to the ABR as the source of the population for agriculture collections
  • release of results from the redeveloped 2002-03 agricultural survey
  • assistance in the conduct of a Pacific Workshop organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
  • advice to the Government Statistics Office of Viet Nam on agriculture statistics strategies.

Mining

The mining component conducts annual surveys of the mining, electricity, gas, water and sewerage industries to provide statistics on the structure, financial operations, performance, and other characteristics of these industries. The component also conducts quarterly collections of actual and expected mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure. Information on mineral and petroleum production is obtained from state administrative sources.

Achievements during the year included:

  • assistance to the Commonwealth Grants Commission regarding the use of mining data in the process for allocating funding to states and territories
  • completion of a framework which will be used to improve comparability of commodity production data across the states and territories
  • introduction of a strategy to incorporate the full ABR, including non-employing businesses, into the annual Mining Survey
  • development of bridging techniques to link the new ABR based annual Mining Survey data with the previous annual series to enable the backcasting of the national accounts series and to assist external users understand the changes introduced.

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 from an annual survey, extensive statistics on the structure, financial operations, performance, and other characteristics of the manufacturing industry.

Achievements during the year included:

  • collection of materials used in manufacturing data via a case studies approach
  • significant progress towards full user funding of sub-annual commodities collections
  • introduction of a new strategy to incorporate the full ABR, including non-employing businesses, into the annual Manufacturing Survey
  • development of bridging techniques to link the new ABR based annual Manufacturing Survey data with the previous annual series (commencing with 2001-02) to enable the backcasting of the national accounts series and to assist external users understand the changes introduced.

Construction

The construction component produces regular indicators of activity for the three components of construction: residential building, non-residential building and engineering construction. It also produces periodic statistics on the structure, performance and characteristics of the construction industry. The component also undertakes and publishes analytical work on an ad hoc basis which explores the relationship between construction activity and societal changes and general economic conditions and developments.

Achievements during the year included:

  • conduct of the Construction Industry Survey to collect information on the structure and performance of the construction industry for the 2002-03 reference period
  • release of an extended range of electronic products containing state and regional data, replacing hard copy publications
  • publication of a number of feature articles in Building Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0) relating to construction statistics such as 'Average floor areas of new dwellings', and 'Engineering construction', as well as a number of articles focusing on individual state construction released on the ABS web site. Additionally a feature article was released in Building Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0) discussing the use of the revised Functional Classification of Buildings - Website Version (cat. no. 1268.0.55.001).

Transport

The transport component provides monthly 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. A directory of transport statistics is produced irregularly, and the program is responsible for the development and promotion of statistical frameworks and classifications.

Achievements during the year included:

  • re-estimation of the Survey of Motor Vehicle Usage outputs for the 1998 and 1999 years, providing stakeholders with a time series of comparable annual data for the period 1998 to 2002
  • completion of user funded rail and air freight surveys for 2001-02 and 2002-03
  • participation, in industry discussions, on the development of the Transport Data Framework leading to the possible adoption of the framework as one of the first applications of the National Data Network.

Service Industries

The service industries component produces statistics on the size, structure, operations and output of a range of Australian service industries. Surveys typically cover a standard set of financial operations information together with a set of activity information tailored to each survey topic.

Achievements during the year included:

  • completion of the 2001-02 round of surveys: Private Medical Practices, Australia (cat. no. 8685.0); Employment Services, Australia (cat. no. 8558.0); Market Research Services, Australia (cat. no. 8556.0); and, Consultant Engineering Services, Australia (cat. no. 8693.0)
  • release of the 2002-03 publications: Real Estate Services, Australia (cat. no. 8663.0); Waste Management Services, Australia (cat. no. 8698.0); and Hire Services, Australia (cat. no. 8567.0)
  • methodological research and user consultations for surveys of public libraries and museums, and businesses involved in accommodation, cafes and restaurants, travel agents and commercial property operators, to be conducted in respect of 2003-04. User consultations have also commenced in relation to the planned 2004-05 surveys of sport, clubs, pubs, taverns and bars and gambling
  • methodological research and user consultations commencing into the conduct of the 2005-06 retail and wholesale industry surveys.

Tourism

The tourism component produces quarterly statistics on the capacity and demand for tourist accommodation in Australia. This entails the conduct of the quarterly ABS Survey of Tourist Accommodation. Other activities include the research and development of indicators of tourism performance and the development and promotion of tourism statistical frameworks and standards.

Achievements during the year included:

  • publication of Tourist Accommodation, Expanded Scope Collection, Australia (cat. no. 8635.0.55.001) to include 2003 data on caravan parks, visitor hostels, and holiday flats and units, which are only collected every three years
  • conclusion of the first round of consultation on the draft Information Development Plan for tourism, including consultation with industry, government and academic representatives at the ABS Tourism Statistics Consultative Group meeting held in August 2003
  • provision of input to the Tourism White Paper implementation process, which has led to the allocation of funding over four years for the continuation of the Tourism Satellite Account and an expansion to the ABS Survey of Tourist Accommodation
  • research and development work on a suite of indicators of overall tourism performance in consultation with government, industry and the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism
  • release of an updated Framework for Australian Tourism Statistics - Electronic Delivery, 2003 (cat. no. 9502.0.55.001).

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 environmental accounting frameworks for new collections and current data holdings.

Achievements during the year included:

  • release of the following publications: Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0); Water Account, Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 4610.0); Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends (cat. no. 4613.0); Domestic Water Use, Western Australia (cat. no. 4616.5.55.001); and, Waste Management Services, Australia (cat. no. 8698.0)
  • release of information from a major survey of energy production, supply and use in Australia in the publications Energy Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 4649.0.55.001); and, Detailed Energy Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 4648.0.55.001)
  • conduct of a survey of water use by farmers, the results of which are expected to be published in 2004-05.

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:

  • conduct of 15 training programs on best practice in collecting and using statistical information
  • provision of methodological advice to the Australian National Audit Office, including assistance with the sample design and estimation for the Financial Delegations Audit
  • providing methodological advice to the Australian National Audit Office and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs about the estimation of the number of persons who overstay visas
  • provision of advice on sampling methodology and estimation to the Australian Valuation Office in regards to the valuation of the National Library of Australia holdings
  • providing advice to the Australian Electoral Commission on sampling and estimation methodology for measuring the accuracy of the Australian Electoral Roll
  • provision of advice on sample design and data management to the Australian Public Service Commission for the annual State of the Service surveys
  • assistance to the Australian Institute of Criminology with the sample design and calculation of estimates for the National Farm Crime Survey.

Statistical Coordination

The statistical coordination component aims to improve the quality of statistical information produced by official bodies in Australia, by: ensuring that the design and conduct of surveys follow good practices; improving the value of survey outputs by improving the quality of survey methods used; and improving the use of survey outputs by improving access to documentation of these outputs. A particular objective of the statistical coordination component is to ensure that the statistical reporting workload imposed on businesses by Australian government collections is kept to a minimum and where possible avoid any duplication. To achieve this, the component manages the Statistical Clearing House which is responsible for the review and approval of all surveys involving 50 or more businesses conducted by, or on behalf of, the Australian government.

Achievements during the year included:

  • provision of secretariat functions for the recently established Australian Government Statistical Forum
  • production of the National Statistical Service Handbook to assist statistical collection managers, designers or users of statistical products
  • development of the National Statistical Service web site http://www.nss.gov.au to assist agencies in applying sound statistical and data management principles and practices
  • completion of 120 reviews, of which 68 per cent resulted in an improvement to the survey or a reduction in respondent load
  • conducting seminars on statistical methods to improve statistical practices in the Australian government
  • continued improvement in networks with agencies to raise awareness of the Statistical Clearing House including the presentation of information seminars.

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 and provides a quarterly review of the economy.

Achievements during the year included:

  • publication of 15 feature articles addressing a range of statistical topics and issues
  • improvements to the content and presentation of the 'quarterly review of the economy'.

State and Territory Statistical Services (STSS)

This component provides a flexible and responsive service to meet priority statistical needs of state and territory governments and other important state and territory based clients, in addition to those met by ongoing statistical outputs of the ABS. The STSS project supports the ABS objective of an expanded and improved National Statistical Service within each state and territory. 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. ABS staff 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 (and the regional offices involved) are listed under four broad topics.

Development and release of statistical products including:

  • regional profiles and publications (New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory)
  • web dissemination of a range of analytical articles on statistical topics and issues (Queensland and Western Australia)
  • statistical indicators publications (Western Australia and Tasmania)
  • a web based range of current and historical statistical information (Tasmania)
  • a statistical atlas of the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding region (Australian Capital Territory).

Reviews and assessments of state and territory agency data holdings including:
  • court proceedings, recorded crime, hospital separations and air quality data (Western Australia)
  • various agency needs analyses, and assessment of Department of Education and Children's Services data holdings (South Australia)
  • the availability and quality of Indigenous identification in key education datasets, and assessment of the completeness of reporting of Indigenous deaths (Northern Territory)
  • assessment of the quality of disability, housing and community services data (Australian Capital Territory).

Assistance to state and territory governments with regard to strategic statistical projects including:
  • completion of the 'Best Start Atlas' regarding early childhood; a workplace growth project which provided information on the net growth of workplaces by industry and by local government area; a workforce planning project which provided information on the dynamics of the current workforce; a project investigating the viability of Medicare as a source for intrastate migration; and a project investigating the housing market (owning, renting and investing) for Melbourne and Balance of Victoria (Victoria)
  • undertaking a state supplementary survey on bicycle usage and household telephone connections; and in collaboration with the Office of Economic and Statistical Research (OESR), commenced a report on Queensland baby boomers which will include administrative data (Queensland)
  • the conduct of a domestic water use survey, and the development of indicators to measure the health and wellbeing of children; an active ageing scorecard for seniors; improving district courts statistical outputs; development of 'A Profile of Western Australia's Seniors'; and a topic sheet on seniors' cultural diversity (Western Australia)
  • the production of indicators for 'State Strategic Plan - Creating Opportunity'; school enrolment projections; production of a 'triple bottom line' report; as well as undertaking a state supplementary survey on 'domestic use of water and energy' (South Australia)
  • the preparation of analyses and reports relating to population issues and policies (Tasmania)
  • the collection of data to measure the value of the Indigenous visual arts and crafts industry; and reporting on regional labour markets, including workforce trends, labour force data and skills profiles (Northern Territory)
  • the development of sustainability reporting (Australian Capital Territory).

Continuing engagement with state and territory governments about their strategic statistical requirements and their contribution to further development of the National Statistical Service (NSS) including:
  • completion of data quality declarations for all non-ABS data sources; overhaul of the glossary for the NSS handbook; and dissemination of 15 non-ABS data sources through quarterly electronic release of State and Regional Indicators, Victoria (cat. no. 1367.2) (Victoria)
  • working with the Queensland state government to ensure acceptance of the NSS principles and commitment to the National Data Network culminating in the OESR, in association with Professor Fiona Stanley (Chief Executive Officer, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth), hosting a roundtable discussion with a range of key stakeholders
  • signing of an agreement with the South Australian government to apply the key principles of the NSS within the South Australian public sector (South Australia)
  • continuing development and refinement of state and regional benchmarks (Tasmania)
  • development of a whole of government Information Development Plan (Australian Capital Territory).

Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre

The Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre is responsible for providing leadership for, and coordination and integration of, regional statistics in the ABS. The National Centre is the focus for user liaison on regional statistical needs including those relevant to key government policy issues.

Achievements during the year included:

  • implementation of the National Regional Profile on the ABS web site comprising headline indicators for all Australia's regions at various levels of geography and accessible through a new regional Australia icon on the web site home page
  • finalisation of user consultations on the Rural and Regional Statistics Information Development Plan from which priorities for future statistical development will be determined
  • provision of statistical support to the Department of Transport and Regional Services on the design and population of a regional evaluation framework for assessing the status of regions
  • development of a rural communities indicator for estimating regional distributions from ABS surveys
  • establishment of Local Government and ABS, a quarterly e-newsletter designed to assist the local government sector with small area data needs and information
  • release of the publications: Regional Wage and Salary Earner Statistics, Australia, Electronic Publication, 2000-01 (cat. no. 5673.0.55.001); and, Characteristics of Wage and Salary Earners in Regions of Australia, 2000-01 (cat. no. 6261.0.55.001) using the remoteness structure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification.

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