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Newsletters - National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) - June Quarter 2000

This newsletter summarises the activities of the ABS in relation to culture and recreation statistics. Much of the work program of the National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) is developed in conjunction with the Cultural Ministers Council Statistics Working Group (CMC SWG), and the Recreation and Sport Industry Statistics Group (RSISG) of the Sport and Recreation Ministers' Council (SRMC).

1. Publications released April to June 2000

i) Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1999, ABS Cat. no. 8146.0 ($17.00) was released on 6 June. It is the third in a series and contains information on the use of computers and the Internet by private households. Details are provided on location and frequency of use of computers and the Internet, use of the Internet for purchasing and teleworking and the use of the Internet and other electronic means to carry out financial transactions.
** DATA HIGHLIGHTS - In 1999, almost half (48%) of the households in Australia had access to a computer at home. An estimated 5.6 million adults (41% of the adult Australians) accessed the Internet which represents an increase of 31% from 1998.

ii) Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, February 2000, ABS Cat. no. 8147.0 ($16.00) was released on 13 June. It contains information on individual and household access to the Internet at home, work and other locations. The publication also presents statistics on electronic commerce activities of adults.
** DATA HIGHLIGHTS - By February 2000, half the households in Australia (3.5 million) had access to the Internet at home. Approximately 48% of households with Internet access used the Internet on a daily basis.

2. Reports due out soon

i) Cultural Funding, Australia, 1998-99, ABS Cat. No. 4183.0 provides estimates of public funding of cultural activities for the three levels of government in Australia. The publication will be released in August.

ii) The CMC SWG publication, Cultural Funding in Australia - Three Tiers of Government 1998-1999, provides Commonwealth, State/Territory and local government breakdowns of public funding. Details of recurrent and capital expenditure and funding per head of population by each category of cultural activity are shown. The report is expected to be released in September 2000.

iii) The SRMC publication, Employment in Sport and Recreation, is expected to be released in September. It uses ABS and non-ABS data to derive an estimate of the number of people employed in sport and recreation in Australia. A broad definition of "sport and recreation" is used including the areas of medicine, law, journalism and teaching which specialise in sport.

3. Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications
The project to develop three classifications -- covering industries, occupations and products -- for culture and leisure statistics is nearing completion. A publication featuring the three classifications is planned for release in late 2000. It is expected that, in the future, the classifications will become the basis for the collection of culture and leisure data both by the ABS and non-ABS organisations.

4. Other activities

i) In April 2000 the ABS conducted a survey on children's participation in culture and leisure activities. The survey, which targeted children aged 5 to 14 years, requested details of sports undertaken outside of school hours particularly when they had been organised by schools, clubs or associations. Details were also obtained on children's involvement in other activities such as learning a musical instrument or taking singing or dancing lessons and their use of information technology. The data is currently being analysed. A publication which highlights the results of this survey will be released in December 2000.

ii) A questionnaire is currently being developed for the supplement to the April 2001 Monthly Population Survey which will capture information on people's involvement in culture and leisure activities. In particular, the survey will determine the number of people undertaking paid and unpaid work in organised sport, organised recreational physical activities and selected cultural activities in the 12 months prior to being interviewed. Data from this survey are expected to be available in November 2001.

iii) As part of its Service Industries Survey (SIS) program, the ABS will be conducting a series of surveys of cultural industries in August/September. The surveys will collect information on the activity of selected businesses including their employment, income and expenditure. Cultural industries targeted include: film and video production and distribution, motion picture exhibition, public libraries, museums, art galleries, botanic gardens, music and theatre production, performing arts venues and festivals.

iv) In 2001 the SIS program will collect data on sport and recreation industries. Preliminary planning is taking place and it is expected that over the course of the next few months industry consultation will occur to ensure the data to be collected are available and relevant.

v) The NCCRS is currently developing a questionnaire for a survey of book publishers to be conducted from September 2000 (with data available in 2001). The survey will collect data in respect of 1999-2000. Data include the value and volume of sales, expenditure and employment in the book publishing industry. Development of a complementary survey of book retailers is expected to follow.

vi) Work is continuing on updating the National Sport and Recreation Industry Database and Directory (NSRIDD). The latest CD ROM was released in March. NSRIDD is provided to each member of RSISG, and may be accessed by contacting the NSRIDD officer in each State or Territory Government office responsible for sport and recreation policy. More information and contact details may be found

6. Staffing

The NCCRS has undergone a number of staff changes over the past 3 months with several staff leaving for greener pastures and a number of others taking their place and being introduced to the wonderful world of culture and recreation statistics. Particularly notable among the departures is Chris Buchanan, who has worked in the ABS for more than 33 years, of which the last 7 have been in NCCRS. Those who have worked with Chris will be aware of his in-depth knowledge of film, theatre and sport, interests which he intends to pursue in his retirement.

For further details on culture topics please contact Chris Giddings on 08 8237 7326, and for sport topics, Nigel Williams on 08 8237 7404. Alternatively, please write to the NCCRS at GPO Box 2272, Adelaide SA 5001, fax on 08 8237 7366 or email to A copy of this and previous newsletters can be found on the ABS web site:

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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