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Newsletters - APS Stats Network - Record of Meeting - 10 October 2001

Record of APS Stats Network Meeting, 10 October 2001

Neil Batty, DFAT
Sue Begley, DFAT
Ian McDermid, Customs
Richard Tuttle, Customs
John Cauchi, DVA
Mark Allenby, Health
Paul Nelson, Health
Ann Leverton, Health
Michael Whitfield, ISR
Frank Wojtaszak, AusAID
Ron Jungwirth, ATO
Graeme Brown, ABS/ATO
Malcolm Gall, DIMA
Rod Battye, DIMA
Habte Tesfaghiorghis, FaCS
Shannon Kelson, BRS
Brad Jennings, DCITA

Ken Tallis, ABS
Bob Harrison, ABS
Colleen Tharme, ABS
Rob Martyn, ABS

Dick Crockett, ABS
Kuldeep Bhatia, AIHW
Mark Mussared, ISR
Zak Rahmani, DETYA
Geoff Armitage, ABARE
Gerald Haberkorn, BRS
Andrew Webster, ABS/ATSIC
Mary Patton, ABS/ISR
Sally Goodspeed, ABS/Health
David Ward, DIMA
Darren Benham, DCITA
James Kemp, FaCS
Peggy Hausknecht, Treasury

The meeting was held in the Crawford Room, Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade, RG Casey Building, Barton, commencing at 2pm and concluding just after 4pm.


1. DFAT's use of ABS and other data, and DFAT's TREC (Trade Exports Classification) - Neil Batty, DFAT
Neil spoke about the role of the Statistics unit in DFAT, its significant data holdings obtained from a variety of sources and the extensive range of uses to which this data is put. Neil provided samples of the reports they prepare, mentioned the Minister's annual report to Parliament on trade outcomes and objectives, and described the unit's other statistical publications. Neil also spoke about DFAT's TREC (TRade Export Classification) which is based on the degree of processing of the commodity - it is proposed to modify the classification to better distinguish the levels of processing, in particular applying to 'primary products'.

2. General business:
  • Confirmation that the Christmas Function is on 28 November at ABS - invitations will be sent out soon.
  • The Statistician's letter to other agency heads, promoting the Stats Network, has been specifically targetted at agencies which have statistical functions and currently do not send a representative to Network meetings; they are expected to be sent out soon. [sent 12/10]
  • Nominations were invited for the Chair and Planning Committee for 2002: Ian McDermid was elected unopposed as Chair; Neil Batty, Mark Allenby and Frank Wojtaszak were elected to the Planning Committee; Ian invited other members to contribute to the Network's activities, and in particular to suggest agenda topics, making the point that the Planning Committee does not have to be restricted to just 3 members.
  • ABS will host the first Network meeting for 2002.

3. Analyzing huge datasets - Ken Tallis, Analysis Branch, ABS
Ken outlined current ABS thinking about making use of large databanks being assembled by other government agencies and businesses. He explained that these databanks could be used to replace or supplement existing ABS data collections, to improve the accuracy and frequency of existing estimates or to allow new socioeconomic concepts to be examined that otherwise would be too complex and costly. At present the datasets being considered are supermarket scanner records and adminstrative databanks such as those being assembled by ATO and Centrelink. Ken mentioned some of the many issues which are arising regarding appropriate analytical methods and quality, and that the huge size and rate of growth of these databanks will necessitate new models and methods, research strategies and computing tools.

4. Environment statistics - Bob Harrison, Environment & Energy Stats, ABS
Bob explained the functions of the Environment statistics unit in ABS and how it contributes to the goals of the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development. Using a series of charts, graphs and tables, Bob gave examples of key environmental indicators from household surveys, natural resource accounts and emerging environmental concepts. He also mentioned the environmental content of the Agriculture collections, the Environment Management Survey, the Local Government Environment Survey and the National Balance Sheet.

The detailed slides from the three talks [in PowerPoint or Freelance format, or hard copy] are available on request from Rob Martyn, Client Management, ABS, telephone Canberra 6252 5280.

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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