REGIONAL STATISTICS MATTERS
Welcome to the 2013 edition of the What's New in Regional Statistics newsletter. Throughout the year we will be providing regular updates on Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre (RRSNC) initiatives and activities, as well as work undertaken by many other areas of the ABS to analyse or improve on regional statistics.
Over the past year the ABS has continued to improve its efforts to enhance regional statistics. Most notably, the ABS released Land Account: Victoria, Experimental Estimates, 2012 (cat. no. 4609.0.55.002). Work is now proceeding to develop Land Accounts for other states and territories, with the ultimate aim of producing a national land account. This initiative provides important data on land use and land value for regions of Australia.
We recently released Estimates of Personal Income for Small Areas, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6524.0.55.002), including data for wage and salary earners. The demand for fresh data about regional economies persists as evidenced by recent strong interest from the media, local government, regional planners and the general public. Users have shown a strong interest in other 'source of income' categories - for example involvement in own unincorporated businesses - as potential indicators of economic confidence and self reliance within the regions.
We have a keen interest in the "House Standing Committee on Regional Australia: Inquiry into the use of ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia". This Inquiry has been generating a lot of interest and debate on regional issues, and this has highlighted the importance of having high quality statistics for regions of Australia. The ABS has recently provided two submissions to this Inquiry outlining how ABS could assist with improvements to current regional data. More information is provided in the Other News section of this newsletter.
The Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development commissioned the ABS, under the auspices of a Victorian Statistical Priority to provide the statistical framework necessary to produce workforce location experimental estimates of the number of employed persons by Victorian local government area of workplace, by industry (ANZSIC 2006). There is currently a gap in the provision of regular employment information that could be used in monitoring changes in the spatial distribution of employment. The results of an investigation by the ABS were recently released in Experimental Estimates of Employees by Industry and Workplace Location, Victoria, 2005-06 to 2010-11 (cat. no. 8176.2.55.001).
Work is continuing on the National Regional Profile (NRP) update for 2013. As a result of user feedback last year, we have expanded the range of data provided for small regions. Most items in the NRP can be repeated across multiple levels of geography, Australia wide. The 2013 release will also see the first use of ASGS boundaries in the NRP. Data will be available for SA2, SA3, SA4, GCCSA, and local government areas (LGAs).
We have noted that a strong and recurring theme is the need for better data on 'regional economies' and hence we have begun to formulate a project to address this need. The "Regional Economic Data Directions" project will be explained in more detail as the project advances. We have begun to focus on a few selected regions to review past economic analyses and we plan to engage with governments at all levels undertaking regional planning in these regions. More information about this project will be provided in a future update of this newsletter.
We will be keeping you up to date on our plans, releases and appearances with regular updates to the newsletter.
As always, if you have any feedback about this newsletter, or any of the above activities, we would love to hear from you. You can send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Gareth Edwards on (08) 8237 7674.
Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre
This page last updated 31 May 2013