1100.2 - Statistics Victoria, Dec 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2008   
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Image: What's Happening in Victoria


Change of Victorian Regional Director
Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum meeting of 13 December 2007
Community of Users and Producers of Statistics (CUPS)
NATSTATS Conference 2008
Household Preparedness for Emergencies Survey, 2007
2011 Census – your views sought
Release of Children and Youth Statistical Portal
Community Indicators Victoria (CIV)
Development of 2008-09 Service Industry Surveys
National Regional Profile
Perspectives on Regional Australia: Wealth throughout Australia
Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 Implementation Update
State and Regional Indicators, Victoria (SRIV) - 2006 Census: regional Victoria in profile

Change in Victorian Regional Director

Welcome to the first issue of Statistics Victoria for 2008.

From 28 January I will take on a new role to work on a series of key corporate initiatives during 2008. I would like to thank VSAF members for their support as the Victorian Regional Director over the last six years and feel that ABS has a very positive relationship with Victorian State Government. As outgoing Regional Director, my view of the statistical challenges in Victoria are:

  • Change of federal government, Council of Australian Governments and the new 'cooperative federalism'
  • Maximising and optimising information from existing administrative datasets
  • Delivering on cross-government collaborations (eg. Victorian Child and Adolescent Monitoring System (VCAMS))
  • Improved coordination (including quality, cost effectiveness, consistency and accessibility) across common statistical processes and activities (eg development of community indicators type surveys).

I think we are well placed to progress these challenges in a Victorian context.

I would like to welcome Carl Obst as the new Victorian Regional Director. Carl Obst is currently the Assistant Statistician of National Accounts Branch. He brings with him strong economic qualifications and has made a significant contribution over the last 14 years in national accounts and economic statistics. Carl has also spent 3 years working internationally with the OECD with a particular focus on the measurement of sustainable development.

From 2 July 2007, the new Australian Statistician, Brian Pink, has implemented a new ABS organisational structure. There are now three major statistical groups, each headed by a Deputy Statistician:

  • Macroeconomics and Integration Group headed by Ian Ewing;
  • Population, Labour, Industry and Environment Statistics Group headed by Peter Harper; and
  • Social Statistics Group headed by Susan Linacre.

It is envisaged that this structure will support strengthening the National Statistical Service (NSS), and continue to deliver a high quality responsive service to ABS clients. The ABS Organisational Structure Chart can be accessed via <www.abs.gov.au>. There have also been changes at the senior executive level in ABS, with several senior appointments in December.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the cooperation which ABS receives from Victorian and local government officials as well as the Victorian community generally, and look forward to another busy year.

Vince Lazzaro
Regional Director
Australian Bureau of Statistics

Photo: Vince Lazzaro welcomes Carl Obst as new ABS Victoria Regional Director

Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum meeting of 13 December 2007

The Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum (VSAF) held its third meeting for 2007 on 13 December, welcoming new members Ms Elizabeth Thomas from Dept of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Ms Peggy Hausknecht from Dept of Planning and Community Development (DPCD), in place of Mr Jeremy Reynolds and Ms Alison McClelland respectively.

Mr Vin Martin, chair of VSAF and Victorian Government representative at the State Statistical Forum (SSF), provided reports on the 20 November Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC) meeting and the second SSF meeting for 2007 on 21 November. Mr Vin Martin attended ASAC on behalf of Lynne Williams, the current Victorian Government representative for ASAC. The agenda included the Australian Statistician's report; development of 2011 Census of Population and Housing; progress on standard business reporting; introduction of the updated ANZSIC classification; Census Data Enhancement Project; role of Victorian Child and Adolescent Monitoring System (VCAMS); statistical literacy across government, media and tertiary students; and improving environmental statistics. 2007 is the first year that two SSF meetings have been held. Issues covered in November were statistics available for modelling and the National Reform Agenda; State/Regional Statistical Priorities; and centralising metadata.

Mr Vince Lazzaro (Regional Director, ABS Victoria Office) gave an update on recent ABS activity. He outlined changes in structure and staffing in ABS, including welcoming Mr Carl Obst, who takes over as Victorian Regional Director on 29 January 2008. In addition, Mr Vince Lazzaro highlighted the current collaboration between ABS and State Wide Outcomes for Children (DEECD) to create a means of centralising statistics on Children and Youth, which serves as a pilot study for the National Data Network (NDN). He also noted that the biggest statistical challenge at the moment is to better utilise existing data by tapping into administrative systems. Finally, he mentioned that figures from the state supplementary survey on Household Preparedness for Emergencies will be published in mid-2008; and that Community Indicators Victoria (CIV) was launched and other states are looking to replicate it.

Ms Marie Apostolou (Director, Statistical Coordination Branch, ABS Victoria) presented the Victorian state government statistical priorities, which generated discussion emphasising the importance of statistics on housing affordability, transport costs, small area data on industry figures, environmental statistics and support for data needs underpinning the national reform agenda.

Ms Jeanette Pope (DPCD) presented a review of Community Wellbeing Indicators Work in Victoria, that revealed the significant provider load placed on households from surveys conducted by Victorian state and local governments. This led to discussion and an agreement to hold a workshop to analyse the situation more thoroughly, and look for opportunities to streamline the number of surveys conducted.

Mr Jeremy Reynolds (DSE) gave a presentation on some early learnings from the 2006 Census, covering the issues of population growth, concentration of knowledge in urban areas, and how to provide for an ageing population.

Mr Paul Taylor (Director of ABS's Victorian Client Services and PSO Branch) and Ms Di Chambers (Assistant Director of Census Field Operations) updated members on the progress of the 2011 Census, including the key goals; plans/changes to procedures; special enumeration strategies; and proposed topics. In addition, they highlighted to members the opportunity to make submissions and to take part in the current consultation process.

For further information on VSAF contact Antonella Caruso, Assistant Director, Statistical Coordination Branch on (03) 9615 7860 or email <victoria.statistics@abs.gov.au>.

Community of Users and Producers of Statistics (CUPS)

The national network, Community of Users and Producers of Statistics (CUPS), is open to anyone with a statistical or a statistically-related role in Australian, State and local governments and the academic and business sectors. The CUPS website <www.nss.gov.au/nss/CUPS> contains information on: training, recruitment and career development; statistical references; and links to conferences, seminars and workshops of interest to the Community. The website also links to relevant professional associations and information networks. If you would like to hear more about CUPS or have an event that you would like to share with the Community please email <inquiries@nss.gov.au>
Image: CUPS: The Community that Counts

NATSTATS Conference 2008

ABS will be hosting the NatStats Conference in Melbourne on 20-21 November 2008. The Conference aims to help connect users and producers of statistics from across government, public sector and academia, providing an opportunity to discuss strategies for measuring progress in Australian society and improving statistics for the nation. Broadly, the conference theme is: "Working together for a better informed and performed Australian Society"

Professionals, researchers, policy makers, practitioners and academics will be invited to speak on topics relevant to the conference theme. The conference program will consist of keynote and invited speakers who are significant contributors to national statistics, able to provide insight into measuring the progress of Australian society and future development of national statistics.

Preliminary planning is underway. We are interested in hearing your suggestions on topics for the conference program, or perhaps you have an interesting or innovative case study which you would like to share with the statistical community. To share your ideas with us please email Mark Lound at <inquiries@nss.gov.au> or phone (02) 6252 6325. Details of the conference will be included in future editions of Statistics Victoria newsletter and posted on the National Statistical Service (NSS) website <www.nss.gov.au>.

Household Preparedness for Emergencies Survey, 2007

ABS Statistical Coordination Branches are working collaboratively on a multi-state publication based on the 2007 ABS Household Preparedness for Emergencies Survey conducted in NSW, ACT, Queensland and Victoria. ABS Victoria is taking part to address a data gap identified by the Victorian State Government. The survey was conducted as an October 2007 ABS Labour Force Survey supplement, with a Victorian sample of approximately 5,750 households.

The survey asked questions on household preparedness for emergencies and household experience of emergencies, including:
  • whether households have an emergency action plan;
  • whether anyone in the household volunteers for an emergency, safety or rescue organisation;
  • presence of selected safety precautions; and
  • household experience of emergencies such as a house fire, bush fire, storm, flood or medical emergency.

The Office for the Emergency Services Commissioner (Vic) in Department of Justice provided input to ABS Victoria's Statistical Coordination Branch on data user needs in the emergency services sector. A multi-state survey publication is due for release in early June 2008.

For further information contact Jayde Hanson on (03) 9615 7879 or email <victoria.statistics@abs.gov.au>.

2011 Census – your views sought

ABS is now consulting with the community on the nature and content of the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. ABS devotes a significant amount of planning to ensure output reflects the information needs of Australians. To facilitate the consultation process, ABS has released the Information Paper: 2011 Census of Population and Housing: ABS Views on Content and Procedures (cat. no. 2007.0). The paper describes proposed procedures for the 2011 Census and topics that might be included. ABS invites comment on the views expressed in the information paper. Submissions are required by 31 March 2008.

The information paper, submission form and other helpful documentation are available on the ABS website (for free download) at <www.abs.gov.au/2011censusviews>. Hardcopy submission forms can be requested by telephoning 1300 175 070 or emailing <2011.census@abs.gov.au>.

Release of Children and Youth Statistical Portal

To expand the National Statistical Service, the ABS has been working with a number of agencies to improve the range of statistical information available to inform policy, analysis and research. The National Data Network (NDN) is a national distributed network for acquiring, sharing and integrating information relevant to policy and research. The first pilot project for the NDN is the Children and Youth Statistical Portal (CYSP).

The CYSP was released on 8 October 2007 and aims to provide access to a range of children and youth information resources from a single location. The Portal contains many publicly available information resources related to children and youth from a range of national and state organisations. This data is made available when contributing organisations (data custodians) load to the Portal entries which contain metadata and associated web links. Over 500 information resources are accessible through the Portal, which also contains a Discussion Forum to assist building a 'community of users' in the children and youth sphere. It is envisaged that the Forum will operate as a 'meeting place' to help people in the field identify important information sources that are not yet visible/accessible, raise issues and share information.

Agencies interested in more information about the Portal are encouraged to contact Lorraine Cornehls via email, <inquiries@nss.gov.au> or by phone on (02) 6252 6079. If you would like more information about NDN in general please call Benjamin Symes from the NDN Business Office on Canberra (02) 6252 5727 or email <inquiries@nationaldatanetwork.org>.

Image: National Data Network Children & Youth  Statistical Portal

Community Indicators Victoria (CIV)

A major release of new data has recently been made on the Community Indicators Victoria (CIV) website
<www.communityindicators.net.au>. Data sourced from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing are now available for ten indicators covering: lifelong learning, economic activity, employment, income and wealth, skills, housing and transport accessibility. Where appropriate, data have also been provided by sex and age. Six indicators have been added to the automated Wellbeing Reports available for each Local Government Area. Additional data by sex and broad age group are also available for those indicators sourced from the CIV Survey. The opportunity has also been taken to revise the survey data to incorporate new 2006 Estimated Resident Population benchmarks and minor corrections to some unit records.

CIV is a collaborative project hosted by the McCaughey Centre: VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, School of Population Health, University of Melbourne. The ABS Victorian Office provides support to CIV through provision of an outposted officer. For more information contact Dr Melanie Davern, Research Fellow – Community Indicators Victoria on (03) 8344 3180 or email <civ-info@unimelb.edu.au>.

Development of 2008-09 Service Industry Surveys

ABS is planning to conduct surveys on nursing homes, aged care, child care, residential care, and non-residential care in respect of the 2008-09 financial year. The Goods and Services National Statistics Centre (G&S NSC) will commence consultation with relevant stakeholders in late 2007 and continue until mid-2008. The aim of stakeholder consultation is to develop a common understanding between ABS and key clients on the purpose and requirements for each survey; eg. identify and prioritise the content, accuracy, scope; and significant issues that could impact on the survey development, implementation or output.

For the purpose of identifying relevant stakeholders for consultations in the broad development phase, the G&S NSC will soon commence contacting those organisations that made relevant submissions to the 2005 Service Industry Survey Forward Work Program review. If you did not make a relevant submission to the review but would still like to be included in development of any of these surveys or for further information contact Melanie Taylor, Director, G&S NSC on (02) 6252 7495 or email <service.industries.program@abs.gov.au>.

National Regional Profile

National Regional Profile (NRP) fourth edition (cat. no. 1379.0.55.001) is due for release in late-February 2008, with data spanning 2002 to 2006. NRP provides a brief summary of key economic and social information for Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas, making it a useful tool for users of small area data. Data are provided from a variety of ABS and non-ABS sources covering: population characteristics, births and deaths, unemployment, taxable income, wage and salary earners, building approvals and motor vehicle sales etc. Users can obtain a snapshot of a local area or compare characteristics across areas. Recently released 2006 Census data will be included in the upcoming NRP. Along with traditional Census data items such as occupation, households and families; this NRP will include data on unpaid work, access to the internet and mobility of the population.

Perspectives on Regional Australia: Wealth throughout Australia

This publication (cat no. 1380.0.55.004) is the fourth of a series of reports analysing a range of topics with a particular focus on Regional Australia. This issue examines the level and distribution of wealth, in the form of assets and liabilities, across urban and rural areas of Australia. The data presented are from the 2005-06 Survey of Income and Housing and the regional dimension in this publication is based on the Section of State structure which enables comparison across urban and rural areas of Australia.The report is due for release late March 2008.

For further information contact Aidan Kent (03) 9615 7607 or email <victoria.statistics@abs.gov.au>.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 Implementation Update
Since the review of ANZSIC in 2002, ABS has been progressively working towards implementing the change from ANZSIC 1993 to ANZSIC 2006. The ABS Business Register is the source of frames for most business collections. The Register has two components, one containing large and complex businesses and maintained by ABS, while the other contains businesses with a simple structure and is sourced from the Australian Business Register maintained by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Since May 2006, both components of the ABS Business Register have been migrated to ANZSIC 2006. This was achieved in collaboration with the ATO, which coded 5.9 million business records to ANZSIC 2006. The ATO now codes new business registrations on an ANZSIC 2006 basis. The ABS Business Register will carry both ANZSIC 1993 and 2006 until all statistical collections have migrated to the new classification.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) was the first collection to release information based on ANZSIC 2006. In March 2007, LFS released employment statistics by industry on both ANZSIC 1993 and ANZSIC 2006 bases for August Quarter 2006, November Quarter 2006 and February Quarter 2007. Datacubes will continue to be released on both bases until November 2008, after which new data will only be available on the new basis.

Retail and Wholesale Service Industries (RIS/WIS) was the second collection to release information based on ANZSIC 2006 structure. RIS/WIS outputs for the reference period 2005-2006 were released in August 2007. Since RIS/WIS is an irregular economic collection, no historical comparison was made available.

Population Census (2006 reference period) released industry data using ANZSIC 2006 structure in October 2007. Although the Census data is being released on an ANZSIC 2006 basis, data based on ANZSIC 1993 will be available upon request.

Other collections expected to release data on ANZSIC 2006 basis this financial year include Engineering Construction (cat. no. 8755.0 and 8762.0; September Quarter 2007 reference period) in December 2007 and Agricultural Census (cat. no. 7121.0; 2005-2006 reference period), in March 2008.

For further information contact Celia Quiatchon (02) 6252 5604.

State and Regional Indicators, Victoria (SRIV)
2006 Census: regional Victoria in profile

The feature article from 'State and Regional Indicators, Victoria, Sept 2007' examined dwelling, household, family and person characteristics for regional Victoria using 2006 Census data. Regional Victoria is divided into three spatial areas referred to as 'Regional Urban Centres', 'Coastal towns' and 'Rural Victoria'. 'Regional Urban Centres' are urban centres in Regional Victoria with 20,000 or more population. Coastal Towns are urban centres with a population of 1,000 or more located on the coast. Rural Victoria comprised the remainder of Victoria (excluding Melbourne Statistical Region).

Separate houses (88%) were the dominant dwelling type in regional Victoria. A flat, unit, or apartment was more common in Regional Urban Centres (10%) than Coastal Towns (7%) or Rural Victoria (4%). Semi-detached, row or terrace houses or townhouses were more frequent in Regional Urban Centres (6%) and Coastal Towns (6%) than Rural Victoria (2%). A separate house was more common in Rural Victoria (92%) than Regional Urban Centres (83%) and Coastal Towns (85%).

The median monthly housing loan repayment was $1,300 in Melbourne Statistical Division (MSD). Rural Victoria had comparatively low repayments of $975, while Regional Urban Centre and Coastal Town repayments were $1,083.

The median weekly cost of renting a dwelling was $200 in Melbourne SD. Rural Victoria ($130) had the lowest rental costs, followed by Regional Urban Centres ($160) and Coastal Towns ($165).

Couple families with children ranged between Coastal Towns (39% of families) and Rural Victoria (44%), compared with Melbourne SD (48%). Couple families without children ranged between Regional Urban Centres (38%) and Coastal Towns (44%), compared with Melbourne SD (34%). One parent families were more prevalent in Regional Urban Centres (19%) than Coastal Towns (15%) and Rural Victoria (14%), with Melbourne SD (16%).

Graph: Family composition, 2006, percentage distribution

The proportion of people born overseas (around 10%) was consistent throughout areas of regional Victoria, with around 85% of people reporting they were born in Australia, and 5% not stating their country of origin. This contrasts to Melbourne, where almost 30% of people were born overseas. Birthplaces other than Australia were consistent across segments of Regional Victoria. The United Kingdom and New Zealand were most prominent, with UK-born represented in Coastal Towns (5% of people), Regional Urban Centres (3%) and Rural Victoria ( 4%). New Zealand-born occurred in Coastal Towns (1%) and Rural Victoria (1%), but Italian-born (around 1%) came second in Regional Urban Centres.

The regional spread of registered marriage was: Melbourne SD (50% of all persons aged 15 years or more), Regional Urban Centres (48%), Coastal Towns (52%), and Rural Victoria (55%). De facto marriage occurred as: Melbourne SD (8% of all persons aged 15 years or more), Regional Urban Centres (9%), Coastal Towns (9%), and Rural Victoria (8%). Not married status occurred as: Melbourne SD (42% of all persons aged 15 years or more), Regional Urban Centres (43%), Coastal Towns (39%), and Rural Victoria (36%).

This article is presented in full in the Sept quarter 2007 edition of State and Regional Indicators, Victoria (cat. no. 1367.2), along with many other commentary covering Victorian data at local government area and sub-state level.

For further information contact Pam Boulton (03) 9615 7880 or email <victoria.statistics@abs.gov.au>.