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Newsletters - Statistics News Northern Territory - Issue No. 10, December 2000


The Statistics News NT newsletter underwent a review during September 2000. We would like to thank everybody who participated in the review and took the time to complete the questionnaire and return it to our office.

The aim of the Statistics News NT newsletter is to inform readers about ABS developments, statistical issues and other relevant new data, new surveys, planned reviews, changes to methodology, as well as providing clients with a listing of selected publication releases. The main objectives of the review were to determine:
  • whether the newsletter meets its objectives
  • whether the newsletter is reaching its target audience
  • client opinions on effectiveness and content/format of the newsletter
  • client opinions on the content/format of the newsletter
  • how best to disseminate the newsletter

Feedback received from clients was positive and will contribute to the following improvements being made to future issues of the newsletter:
  • An increased description will be provided about publications that have been released which will include a summary of the level of data that is available (eg. whether gender, age, area breakdown is provided)
  • Summary tables or graphs will be included to represent some key highlights of data available through publications (eg. Age pyramid for Population by Age and Sex)

If you would like to receive the Statistics News NT Newsletter via email or as an emailed link to the ABS web site, and for further information regarding the review of the newsletter, please contact Ian McCutcheon on (08) 8943 2110 or email


The ABS commenced a three month outposted officer service to Territory Housing in October. The project officer is Jenny Coccetti. Jenny is from the Strategic Services Section of the Client Services Branch in the Northern Territory ABS office.

The objective of the ABS outposting is to identify issues in relation to the range and quality of Public Housing data, including existing performance indicators as measures of program outcomes; and National and agency reporting requirements. The outposting arises from an identified need in response to the 'Public Housing 2003' report which details the housing reform agenda addressing housing requirements over the next five years.


Each year the ABS offers a statistical service to the Northern Territory Government to meet high priority unmet statistical needs or for the improvement of data collection, management and dissemination strategies and processes. Every year the Northern Territory Government has the opportunity to submit a proposal for the securing of ABS services to assist in the development, evaluation and delivery of government policy and programs. The nature of work undertaken by the ABS may include information gathering and analysis or improving data quality and procedures within new or existing collections.

The options available through the Annual Statistical Service include:
  • an ABS outposted officer in your agency; or
    • The ABS is willing to negotiate an ABS officer being placed within an Northern Territory Government agency. Proposals need to consider that the work to be undertaken can be achieved within approximately 3 months.
  • a statistical consultancy
    • ABS offers a Statistical Consultancy service entailing a project being undertaken by an ABS Officer or Officers within an ABS Office.

Submissions are assessed for their perceived value to Northern Territory Government and the NT community.

For further information regarding the Northern Territory Annual Statistical Services 2001, please contact either Paula Sutherland (08 8943 2131, email ) or Jim Drummond (08 8943 2120, ).


The Statistical Priorities paper is prepared each year for a discussion of States/Territories statistical needs by senior ABS management, as part of an ongoing cycle of reviewing and managing the ABS Forward Work Program.

The 2000 Statistical Priorities paper was an articulation of NT Government statistical priorities provided to ABS through bilateral agency discussions and through the NT SLC during 1999 and early 2000. Following discussions within the ABS, a response that addresses developments, opportunities, updates and further information has been included in the paper, which has now been provided to NT Government agencies.

Agencies have been asked to review the content of the 2000 paper for input to the 2001 paper. Changes made through the review should reflect changes in NT Government policies and programs, as well as a reassessment of the priorities outlined in the 2000 paper.

For further information regarding the Statistical Priorities paper, please contact either Paula Sutherland (08 8943 2131, email ) or Jim Drummond (08 8943 2120, ).


The trial of ABS@NTG, the unique dissemination service that provides easy access by all NT Government staff to the extensive range of ABS information and capability, finished on 31st October 2000. Overall, the feedback that has been received by the ABS so far, from individual clients and agencies has been very positive

A survey questionnaire has been sent out by NT Treasury to all power users in order to obtain a formal assessment of the trial.


The ABS relationship with local governments is strategically important. The ABS collects significant amounts of data from local governments, and they are an important source of data for regional analysis. Local governments are also potentially large users of statistical information for informed decision-making within their regions.

A national review of the relationship between the ABS and local governments is currently being undertaken by a project team based in the NSW ABS Office. The review will assess the needs and priorities of users (internal and external) for local government statistics, and determine how these can be met within an environment of standardisation of inputs and outputs, minimisation of provider load, production of regional statistics, compliance with legislative requirements, user pays and other ABS policies and the move to electronic data capture. As well as consulting with local governments themselves, consultations with State Departments of Local Government, Local Government Grants Commissions, regional development authorities, and national and state local government associations will also be undertaken.

The desired outcomes of the review are:
  • an understanding of the totality of the official reporting load on local governments;
  • appropriate data collection arrangements in the ABS and elsewhere, including a standardised, Australia-wide public finance local government collection where possible;
  • an assessment of the potential for additional social and economic data to be obtained as a by-product of the administrative systems of councils;
  • an understanding of the current fit of ABS services to local governments needs, including an assessment of the potential to supply additional data to local governments, and increase their use of statistical information more generally.

The draft recommendations of the review are expected to be available for public comment during February 2001.

For further information about the Review of the ABS relationship with Local Government, please contact Geoff Brown (08 8943 164, ). Further information about the review is also available via the ABS web site under Regional Statistics on the Themes page.


During September the ABS NT Office undertook a review of clients regional data needs to input into future editions of the Regional Statistics, Northern Territory publication. The review has now been completed and we would like to thank everyone who provided valuable input during this process.

The feedback that has been received will contribute significantly to the ongoing improvement of future editions of the publication.

If you would like further information regarding the review of the Regional Statistics, Northern Territory publication, please contact Victoria Holland (08 8943 2174, ).


Local Government Finance Statistics, Northern Territory, 1996-97 and 1997-98 (ABS Cat. No. 5502.7) was released on August 18, 2000. This is the second edition of this publication released by the Northern Territory (NT) ABS Office and covers the financial activity of all local government authorities (LGA) in the NT.

The local government sector in NT is somewhat different to that of other States and Territories in that it is divided into municipalities, community government councils (CGC) and Identified Incorporated Associations (IIA).

Municipalities and CGCs are established under the Local Government Act whereas the IIAs are established under the Associations Incorporation Act, however, this Act has been amended to subject those IIAs with local government responsibilities to the same rigours as those established under the Local Government Act.

All LGAs included in the publication are recognised as local government for funding purposes by both the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments, Nhulunbuy (Gove) was established under the Companies Act and is not considered to be local government for funding purposes.

An enhancement in this edition is the publication of broad accounting aggregates for each LGA, Total Revenue, Total Expenditure, Total Assets, Total Liabilities and Total Equity and this is further broken down into Regions. Other tables include Balance Sheet information by regions, selected revenue and expenditure items by purpose by region.

Local Government Finance Statistics, Northern Territory, 1996-97 and 1997-98 can be purchased for $21.00. If you would like further information please contact Jim Roberts on (08) 8943 2155 or email .


A number of geographical changes are set to occur for the NT in the 2001 edition of the ASGC. In Issue No. 5 of this newsletter (July 1999), we announced that the boundary of Darwin Statistical Division would be extended to include Litchfield Local Government Area from 2001.

Following a submission from a number of NT Government agencies earlier this year, two new Statistical Local Areas will also be created from 2001 by splitting the existing SLA of Palmerston (T) Balance into Durack SLA and Bakewell SLA with the remainder staying in Palmerston (T) Balance.

For further information about these changes, please contact Tracey Brandrup (08 8943 2152, ).


Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 1997-98 (ABS Cat. No. 5249.0) was released on 17 October 2000. The publication has been prepared by the ABS with funding from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources in response to specific calls for information on the economic impacts of tourism.

The publication presents the first official estimates of the contribution of the tourism industry to the Australian economy within the context of a satellite account linked to the Australian System of National Accounts.

The publication contains the contribution of tourism to major economic aggregates, such as GDP, as well as details on what products were purchased by tourists, which industries supplied those products, and the contribution of tourism to the value added of those industries.

In addition, data on employment and visitor numbers has been presented. The Tourism Satellite Account provides users with a macro-economic framework to conduct analyses of tourism impacts on the economy.

The publication was officially launched in Sydney by the Minister for Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly. In handing the report to Minister Kelly, the Australian Statistician, Mr Dennis Trewin, said that while tourism had long been regarded as an important activity and indicator of Australia's well-being, the actual contribution of the "tourism industry" to the Australian economy had never been officially measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is a significant breakthrough, using newly approved international standards and puts Australia up with the best in the world in terms of statistics for analyses of this important industry," he said. "As an analytic tool, the TSA will help researchers understand the interrelationships and impact of tourism on the economy and contribute to informed decision making in the sector".

Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 1997-98 can be purchased for $24.00. If you would like further information please contact Luisa Ryan (02 6252 7346, ).


The AHS was conducted between September and December 1999. Australian Housing Survey: Housing Characteristics, Costs and Conditions (ABS Cat. No. 4182.0) was released on 31 October 2000.

The publication represents the first release from this survey and presents summary information on the physical characteristics and condition of dwellings, with emphasis given to the costs, affordability and adequacy of housing. These are analysed in relation to various characteristics, such as household composition, tenure status and income levels. Information is also provided on people's recent housing history, and information has been supplied at State/Territory level with limited datasets at Capital City level (Northern Territory data is only available at a state level).

Australian Housing Survey: Housing Characteristics, Cost and Conditions, 1999 can be purchased for $25.00. If you would like further information please contact Di Chambers (02 6252 5508, ).

A secondary publication from the AHS, Australian Housing Survey, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Results (ABS Cat. No. 4712.0) is due to be release in January 2001. The publication will present selected data on the housing characteristics of the Indigenous population, excluding those living in remote areas. Equivalent data for the non-Indigenous population of Australia are also presented for comparison of results.

For further information please contact Marie Grealy (02 6252 5943, ).


Population Projections, Australia 1999 - 2101 (ABS Cat. No. 3222.0) was released on 17 August 2000. The publication contains population projections spanning for the period 1999 to 2101 for Australia and to 2051 for the States/Territories and capital cities/balance of States.

A combination of assumptions of future levels of births, deaths and migration are used to illustrate the possible size, structure and distribution of Australia's population into the next century. An age and gender breakdown of the projections has been supplied throughout various datasets within the population within each State and Territory.

The Australian population aged 65 years and over could triple in size, increasing from 2.3 million in 1999 to 6.4 - 6.8 million in 2051. By 2051 they could make up 24 - 27% of the population compared with 12% in 1999. The size of this group will increase rapidly from 2011 onwards when the post World War II "baby boomers" start turning 65. The population aged 15 - 64 years, which encompasses much of the working-age population, is projected to increase in size, but to decline as a proportion of the population, from 67% in 1999 to 65% in 2021 and 59 - 60% in 2051.

The States and Territories projected to grow fastest over the next 50 years under Series II are the NT (92 %), QLD (74%) and WA (63 %), all well above the growth projected for Australia (34 %). All States except TAS are projected to experience some degree of population growth. QLD could replace VIC as the second most popular State between 2026 and 2038, while the population of the ACT could overtake that of TAS between 2041 and 2047. The NT could overtake the populations of both TAS and the ACT by between 2044 and 2048.

In 1999, the NT had the youngest population in Australia with a median age of 28.6 years, compared to 34.9 years for Australia as a whole. By 2051, it is projected that the age gap between the NT and Australia will have widened further. The median age of the NT in 2051 is projected to be between 33.6 and 34.5 years, compared to 44.0 to 46.6 years for Australia.

Population Projections, Australia 1999 - 2101 can be purchased for $37.00. If you would like further information or statistical clarification, please contact John Ulrichsen (08 8943 2150, ).


Public and private organisations in Australia will soon have access to reliable measures of Internet usage thanks to a quarterly Internet Activity Survey being conducted by the ABS. Information collected in the survey will include subscriber numbers and churn rates, online time and amount of data downloaded, Internet Service Provider (ISP) contact locations, infrastructure, and technical support.

"The ABS is responding to strong demand and support for regular statistics on Internet activity from government departments and industry users," said Sheridan Roberts, Director of Science and Technology Statistics. "Statistics from the Internet Activity Survey will encourage a more informed policy debate which will enhance Australia's participation in the information economy”.
In particular, the survey will provide some basic industry and regional data on an important sector which is underpinning the emerging information economy," she said. “Output from the survey will also enable individual ISPs to compare the operations of their own business with that of the industry as a whole."

A pilot survey will be undertaken for the June quarter 2000 with quarterly surveys being conducted from the September quarter 2000. First results from the survey are expected to be available in February 2001, and data will be available at a minimum level of State/Territory. While data for the survey will initially be collected via paper forms, the ABS is investigating electronic data capture for future quarters.

If you would like further information please contact either Sandi Hine (07 3222 6127, or Dave Martyn (07 3222 6118, ).


Following is a list of statistical training courses that are available through the ABS. If you are interested in more information on any of the courses please use the links below

Indigenous Demographic Trends
Introduction to Statistics
Introduction to Sampling Techniques
Principles of Questionnaire Design
Basic Survey Design
Analysing Survey Data Made Simple
Turning Data into Information
Understanding Demographic Data
Producing Statistics from Administrative Data Collections
Focus Group Techniques

or please contact Megha Raut who may also be able to arrange customised ABS’ training courses (08 8943 2122, ).


Cat. No.Title

1350 Australian Economic Indicators, November 2000 ($33.00)
3101 Australian Demographic Statistics, June Qtr 2000 ($21.00)
3222 Population Projections, Australia, 1999 - 2101 ($37.00)
3401 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, September 2000 ($18.00)
4177 Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 1999-00 ($19.50)
4402.7.40.001 Child Care, Northern Territory, Data Report Hardcopy, June 1999 ($43.00)
5206 Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Sept Qtr 2000 ($23.00)
5249 Australian National Accounts, Tourism Satellite Accounts, 1997-98 ($24.00)
5302 Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Sept Qtr 2000 ($23.00)
5422 International Merchandise Trade, Australia, Sept Qtr 2000 ($25.00)
5502.7 Local Government Finance, Northern Territory, 1996-97 and 1997-98 ($18.50)
5609 Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia, August 2000 ($17.50)
5646 State Estimates of Private New Capital Expenditure, Sept Qtr 2000 ($18.50)
5651 Company Profits, Australia, Sept Qtr 2000 ($17.00)
6202 Labour Force, Australia, Preliminary, September 2000 ($19.50)
6248 Wage and Salary Earners, Australia, June Qtr 2000 ($19.50)
6302 Average Weekly Earnings, States and Australia, August 2000 ($19.50)
6345 Wage Cost Index, Australia, Sept Qtr 1999 ($18.00)
6401 Consumer Price Index, Australia, Sept Qtr 1999 ($19.00)
6403 Average Retail Prices of Selected Items, Eight Capital Cities, Sept Qtr 2000 ($16.50)
6416 House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities, Sept Qtr 1999 ($16.50)
8501 Retail Trade, Australia, October 2000 ($18.00)
8634 Tourism Indicators, Australia, June Qtr 1999 ($26.00)
8635 Tourist Accommodation, Australia, Sept Qtr 2000 ($21.00)
8635.7.40.001 Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Northern Territory, Sept Qtr 2000 ($43.00)
8731 Building Approvals, Australia, September 2000 ($19.50)
8731.7 Building Approvals, Northern Territory, June 2000 ($17.50)
8750 Building Activity, Australia: Dwelling Unit Commencements, Preliminary, Sept Qtr 1999 ($16.50)
8752.7 Building Activity, Northern Territory, June Qtr 2000 ($17.50)
9301 New Motor Vehicle Registrations, Australia: Preliminary, October 2000 ($16.50)
For more information ...
If you or your organisation would like to be placed on our mailing list, or you would like to receive future editions via email, please contact Victoria Holland on 08 8943 2174 or email or Ian McCutcheon on (08) 8943 2110 or email

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