The National Agricultural Statistics Review (NASR) was undertaken over 2013 and 2014 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). The purpose of the review was to assess Australia’s agricultural statistical system and its adequacy for informing decision-making, planning and policy making, both now and into the future.

          Through the NASR process, consultation with stakeholders across government, industry and the research sector identified a range of areas where improvements needed to be made to address stakeholder concerns and ensure the agricultural statistical system can continue to effectively inform information needs into the future. One of these areas was in relation to coordination and governance, where the review found that there were no overarching mechanisms to effectively plan and coordinate the contributions of the various organisations producing agricultural statistics, and no knowledge of the surveys planned in any one year. This has led to potential duplication and inefficiency in the statistical system in addition to a high burden on survey respondents.

          The NASR recommended a number of actions to address this issue, a key one of which was to publish an annual calendar of the planned statistical collections requested of farmers, fishers and foresters. The calendar will guide planning by organisations undertaking surveys to minimise duplication and provide respondents and their industry bodies with information about the range of surveys being undertaken, their purpose and timing. The recommendation was made in order to improve public accountability of survey managers and to more effectively manage respondent burden through greater transparency.

          Following the release of the final NASR report a series of stakeholder forums were hosted by ABS and ABARES to inform stakeholders of the review findings and outcomes. Drawing on feedback from the forums ABS and ABARES committed to develop a simplified prototype of a statistical activities calendar using ABS and ABARES 2016 survey collections. The calendar was to be publicly released in early 2016 with work towards further enhancing the calendar after this time, including expanding it to include statistical collections from other organisations across government and industry.

          THE CALENDAR

          The Statistical Activities Calendar for 2016 has been jointly developed by ABS and ABARES to meet the commitment made in the NASR and to facilitate ongoing enhancement of Australia’s agricultural statistical system. The calendar presents planned ABS and ABARES surveys that will be completed by the farming sector during the calendar year 2016 and includes a description and broad purpose for each survey, as well as who is funding the survey. Please note that the dates indicated on the calendar for survey commencement, survey closing and release of data are those indicated at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

          Statistical Activities Calendar 2016.pdf


          For the purposes of the Statistical Activities Calendar a survey includes web and paper based self-completed surveys or a face to face survey conducted by a survey interviewer.
          Survey commences: refers to when a survey is first provided to a respondent for completion, or when survey interviewers begin collecting data from respondents.
          Survey closes: refers to when a survey respondent needs to have completed the survey and returned it, or when survey interviewers have completed data collection.
          Release of data: refers to when information obtained from the survey is made publicly available. Data may be released in staggered intervals.
          For more information on ABS' surveys please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
          For more information on ABARES' surveys please contact 02 6272 2000.