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Free statistics on the ABS website

All statistics within www.abs.gov.au can be accessed free of charge. This policy was announced by the Treasurer, The Hon. Peter Costello MP as an ABS Centenary tribute to the people of Australia in December 2005.

In announcing free statistics, the Treasurer said the Government recognised the importance of access to official statistics in providing a reliable and up-to-date view of Australian society, the economy and the environment. (Full speech)

He said this initiative was in line with the Government's Backing Australia's Ability policy, and would ensure decision-makers within the Australian Government and state/territory governments, business and the community had readily available statistical information with which to make informed decisions.

The change meant that all publications, spreadsheets and Census data on the ABS web site are now available free to any member of the public with Internet access.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

1. What information will be free from the ABS web site?
2. How do I know which spreadsheets and data cubes are free?
3. How do I access these free ABS publications?
4. Who can help me if I need assistance to find material on the web site?
5. Do any subscriptions services remain on offer from the ABS?
6. How do I subscribe to the free email notification service?
7. What if I'd prefer to get a hard copy of my ABS publications?
8. Why do I still have to pay for some of the ABS' products?
9. Will the fact that publications are free affect the quality of the statistics published by the ABS?


FAQs


1. What information will be free from the ABS web site?
You can download an electronic copy of any post-1998 ABS publication, free of charge. Please note however, that some publications may go as far back as 1907. In addition, all ABS spreadsheets and data cubes on the web site will be available to download free of charge.

If you would like data customised to meet your needs, please contact the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070 or fill in the Information Consultancy request form to receive a quote. While the ABS is funded to provide data free of charge in standard formats, we must recover costs associated with preparing customised requests for individual clients/organisations in accordance with government cost-recovery guidelines. Costs are also recovered for access to data via specialised products such as TableBuilder and Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFS).

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2. How do I know which spreadsheets and data cubes are free?
All spreadsheets and data cubes on the ABS web site will be free.

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3. How do I access free ABS data?
Free ABS data can be downloaded directly from the ABS web site.

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4. Who can help me if I need assistance to find material on the web site?
The National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) at the ABS, who can be contacted on 1300 135 070.


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5. Do any subscriptions services remain on offer from the ABS?
The ABS free email notification service notifies you by email when your nominated publications are released, and you will receive links to our web site so that you can download them, for free, shortly after 11.30 am on their day of release. You can alter your subscription details, or unsubscribe to the service, at any time.

Clients can also purchase a subscription to receive customised International Trade, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Building Activity and Engineering Construction data. Please contact National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070 or fill in the Information Consultancy request form to receive a quote.

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6. How do I subscribe to the free email notification service?
You can subscribe by clicking the link to email notification service.

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7. What if I'd prefer to get a hard copy of my ABS publications?
You can print a copy yourself, free of charge.

A select List of Printed Publications will be available for purchase. To order, please refer to how to Purchase ABS Publications or call the ABS on 1300 135 070.

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8. Why do I still have to pay for some ABS products?
The ABS makes the main findings of statistical collections and reports on matters of public interest free to the community via the media, public libraries and the internet. All web based data is available as described above.

While the ABS is funded to provide data free of charge in standard formats, we must recover costs associated with preparing customised requests for individual clients/organisations in accordance with government cost-recovery guidelines and ABS Pricing policy. Costs are also recovered for training, consultancies, providing paper copies of ABS publications, information on CD-ROM and access to data via specialised products such as Census DataPacks, TableBuilder and Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFS).

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9. Will the fact that ABS statistics are free affect their quality?
No. Current production and quality assurance processes will be unaffected.

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For further information, please contact the ABS National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) on 1300 135 070 or email client.services@abs.gov.au.

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