ABS AT THE NATIONAL RESEARCHERS' FORUM
At the ABS, it's really important to keep up-to-date with what's happening in research and policy. This helps us in our mission to assist informed decision-making, research and discussion in governments and the community, by leading a high quality national statistical service. In the field of local government research, new developments are happening all the time, so we were pleased that local SA ABS staff were able to attend the 2013 Local Government Researchers' Forum, held over two days in Adelaide in early June.
The Local Government Researchers' Forum gives local government researchers and practitioners an opportunity to present new research and discuss the implications for policy and practice. Organised by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) and the South Australian Local Government Association, over 40 presenters introduced their research covering a variety of of relevant and interesting topics.
For the ABS’ regional statistics program, the forum was a great opportunity to discuss the availability and use of regional statistics and let people know about the work we are doing to support local government decision making. In particular, we discussed our Regional Economic Data Directions project, which aims to provide guidance to help people analyse different aspects of regional economies, such as their income and expenditure, businesses and industries, access to markets, comparative advantage and levels of human, environmental and economic capital. The project will also help identify data priorities.
Several presentations provided an insight into issues affecting local government, including local government finance and revenue, leadership, innovation and how local government engages with citizens. Other presentations examined issues that affect the services local governments provide, such as demographic change, environmental issues and health and wellbeing in different communities.
The forum handbook can be found on the ACELG website where the forum papers are progressively being uploaded.