6. SMALL AREA DATA AVAILABLE FROM THE FIVE YEARLY AGRICULTURAL CENSUS
During the five yearly Agricultural Census, all in-scope agricultural businesses (155,000 in 2006) are approached for information. This coverage of the industry means data are suitable for release at the small area level for example, Local Government Areas. It is important that the Agricultural Census includes those questions which are required to inform users of agricultural statistics within a region.
The ABS holds discussions every five years with key users to identify any critical business, land or water management issues for which data can be collected in the Census and linked with small area commodity production data. As the number of questions which can be collected on Agricultural Census questionnaires is limited, and the collection opportunity occurs only once every five years, the ABS is keen to ensure that the most relevant and highest priority questions are included.