1376.0 - Local Government and ABS (Newsletter), Jun 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2007   
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In this issue:

About this newsletter

'Local Government and ABS' is a quarterly newsletter published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to help the Local Government Sector use statistics to assist with planning and other community servicing decisions.

This is a free newsletter and we encourage you to forward it to others and post it on your bulletin board. Anyone is welcome to receive 'Local Government and ABS' - for further details on how to subscribe see 'Newsletter and ABS contact details'.

First release of 2006 Census Results now available

The first results from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing were released on Wednesday 27 June 2007. These results are available for free on the ABS website https://www.abs.gov.au/Census.

The Census takes a 'snapshot' of Australia every five years, collecting vital information on the social, economic and housing characteristics of Australian society, with the 2006 Census held on 8 August last year.

Census data are used to help support planning, administration, policy development and evaluation activities of governments, businesses, researchers, communities and many other users. It is also a valuable resource for anyone seeking information on the population and housing characteristics of people living in Australia on Census night.

2006 Census data will be progressively released on the ABS website. Later releases will include more complex variables such as occupation, education, employment and mobility. For further information refer to: 2006 Census: Proposed Product Release Dates.

2006 Census products that are available free of charge from the ABS website from 27 June 2007 include:

QuickStats - A quick and simple summary of key Census data relating to persons, families and dwellings, e.g. age, country of birth, main language spoken at home, religious affiliations and marital status.

Census Tables - Designed to assist you in researching, planning and analysing geographic areas. Census Tables enable you to obtain Census data in a single table for a specified area.

MapStats - This product allows you to create detailed thematic maps of selected areas depicting selected population, ethnicity, family and dwelling characteristics easily and quickly.

2006 Census reference material is also available which provides a useful starting point for developing a greater understanding and more informed use of Census data. These reference material include:

Discover Your Census (cat. no. 2915.0) - This brochure provides you with useful product information and reference material about the 2006 Census. It contains information about each product and service and a glossary of commonly used Census term

Census Dictionary, 2006 (cat. no. 2901.0) - This product provides users of Census data with a comprehensive reference document for the Census of Population and Housing. The dictionary contains the details of the classifications used in the 2006 Census along with definitions of Census concepts and terms.

Census of Population and Housing - Undercount, 2006 (cat. no. 2940.0) - This publication presents estimates of net undercount for the 2006 Census, as well as information on how the estimates were calculated.

Other 2006 Census products that will be available free of charge and progressively released on the ABS website include:

Community Profiles - Provides key Census characteristics related to persons, families and dwellings, covering most topics on the Census form.

CDATA Online - Allows users to select and combine geographic areas from a single Collection District (CD) through to an entire state/territory or Australia.

'Fee for Service' product:

Table Builder - Aimed at experienced users of Census data, this product will allow you to design and populate your own tables of Census data via an interactive web interface. Note: Table Builder will be a charged product and is not part of the free product suite.


For enquiries contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or e-mail: client.services@abs.gov.au.

Regional Population Figures

Following the first release of 2006 Census of Population and Housing data, the following two regional population estimates products will be released on 24 July 2007 with rebased population estimates for June 2002 to 2006:

Regional Population Growth, Australia, 1996 to 2006 (cat. no. 3218.0)

This publication highlights population growth or decline in Local Government Areas in Australia. It contains estimates of the resident population of Local Government Areas, Statistical Divisions, Statistical Districts and states and territories of Australia, according to the latest edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). For the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory, estimates for Statistical Subdivisions are also included. Commentary is provided in the publication on population change at various geographic levels.

Regional Population Growth, Australia, 1996 to 2006 will contain preliminary rebased population estimates for June 2002 through to June 2006 taking into account 2006 Census of Population and Housing data, based on the 2006 edition of the ASGC. Initial estimates for 30 June 2006, based on the 2006 Census, will be released on 24 July 2007 with the final 2006 Census-based estimates for 2002-2006 planned for release in mid 2008, in Population Growth and Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 2035.0).

Population by Age and Sex, Australia, Jun 2006 (cat. no. 3235.0)

This product contains the estimated resident population by age (in five-year age groups up to 85 and over) and sex for Statistical Local Areas, Statistical Subdivisions and Statistical Divisions in Australia at 30 June of the reference year, based on the reference year edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). Estimates for Local Government and other areas using Statistical Local Areas as a base can be derived from these estimates.

Population by Age and Sex, Australia, June 2006 will be released on 24 July 2007 with preliminary rebased population estimates taking into account 2006 Census of Population and Housing data, based on the 2006 edition of the ASGC.

New feature on the ABS Website

The ABS website now has a 'First Visit' page which provides an overview of how you can best use the website and what statistics are available. Information on this 'First Visit' page includes:

How can you use the ABS website ?
  • use the overview of the website to give you an outline of the main elements of our site design to help navigate the information available
  • a help index gives you more detailed assistance to locate information
  • use the self directed learning material to help you understand and make the best use of ABS information
  • all ABS statistics can be accessed by catalogue number, release date, topic or title
  • selected statistics and information organised by themes
  • the Google search box located near the top right corner of each page provides extensive search options
What statistics are available for you?

CUPS - The Community that Counts

Australia's National Statistical Service (NSS) represents the range of statistical services that are collectively provided for Australia. The primary aim of the NSS is to provide an accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive and meaningful picture of the economy, society and the environment to support the formulation and monitoring of policies and to inform Australian society.

A key strategy of the NSS is to develop a strong community of people interested in statistics. A "Community of Users and Producers of Statistics" (CUPS) has been formed to provide a forum for sharing information and for organising community networking and activities. 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 contains information on: training, recruitment and career development; statistical references; and links to conferences, seminars and workshops of interest to the Community. The CUPS website also links to relevant professional associations and information networks. As the Community develops, interactive networking facilities may be added. If you would like to hear more about CUPS or if you have an event that you would like to share with the Community please email inquiries@nss.gov.au.

Release of Business Counts, Entries and Exits Data

Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2003 to June 2006 (cat. no. 8165.0) was released on 26 February 2007 and presents business counts, including data measuring levels and rates of business entries to and exits from the Australian economy and business survival. Detailed counts are presented by industry, state, territory, type of legal organisation, sector and employment size.

These data are sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register and are based on the ABS definition of a business, detailed in Information Paper: A Statistical View of Counts of Businesses in Australia (cat. no. 8162.0).

On 31 May 2007 two additional tables containing data at the postcode level were released. These new tables include data by Industry, state and territory, postcode and employment and turnover size range data.

Table 3.1 Businesses by Postcode by Industry Division by Employment Size Ranges, June 2006

Table 3.2 Businesses by Postcode by Industry Division by Annual Turnover Size Ranges, June 2006

First release of 'What's New in Regional Statistics' Newsletter

The first issue of the 'What's New in Regional Statistics' newsletter was released on 30 April 2007. This newsletter was prepared as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Regional Statistics Program to provide information on the latest developments in statistics that are relevant to regions, including metropolitan, urban, non-urban and rural areas, and other information of likely interest to researchers, policy makers and other users of small area data.

This newsletter highlighted products released by the Regional Statistics Program. This first issue included details of the Information Development Plan for Rural and Regional Statistics, information on regional wages and salaries and the National Regional Profile. The issue also looked at regional population growth and how the ABS responded to the impact that Cyclone Larry had on the estimation of populations of towns in far north Queensland.

This newsletter also included articles on other ABS releases which are relevant to users of regional statistics e.g. the Agricultural Census, information on natural resource management and tourism accommodation, and the introduction of mesh blocks

To subscribe to 'What's New in Regional Statistics', email regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with the subject 'Subscribe to What's New in Regional Statistics'.

What's happening in Local Government Finance?


Forms for the June Quarter of the 2006-07 Local Government Finance Statistics Quarterly Estimates were sent to selected councils on 21 June 2007. Responses to the
quarterly survey are required by 10 July 2007. A prompt response is greatly appreciated and will ensure the financial activity of local government is accurately represented in Australia's National Accounts, which are prepared on a quarterly basis. As always ABS personnel are available to assist councils in completing the form in situations where requirements are unclear.

Data from the annual 2005-06 Local Government Finance Collection were published on 3 April 2007 in the publication, Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0).

The ABS thanks councils for their cooperation in providing high quality data for these collections. Information provided is used in making important policy decisions concerning the sector and it is important that accurate and timely information is returned by councils in building this data set.

Visits to Departments of Local Government and Grants Commissions

Throughout May and June representatives of the ABS' Local Government Statistics Unit met with the various state/territory Grants Commissions or Departments of Local Government. The aim of these meetings was to review the completed 2005-06 annual collection, and to discuss developments for the 2006-07 cycle. As usual, the discussions were constructive and invaluable in strengthening relationships. Some of the key issues discussed were timetables, data quality, and improvements to the collection of forms and related processes. Other important discussions were based around the Local Government reforms in Queensland and Northern Territory and the Productivity Commission research study into Local Government own source revenue. Despatch of annual forms are expected from mid July to September and work is underway in updating all annual systems ready for these dates.


For further information or inquiries about Local Government Statistics, contact the Local Government Statistical Unit on (07) 3222 6022.

Recent ABS Releases

Domestic Water and Energy Use, New South Wales, Oct 2006 (cat. no. 4621.1)

This publication, released on 10 May 2007, summarises results from the 'Domestic Water and Energy Use' survey conducted during October 2006 throughout New South Wales. It presents information on household use of selected water and energy using appliances with information collected on cooling and heating devices; washing machines and clothes dryers; showers and swimming pools and outdoor spas.

Labour Force, Australia, Detailed - Electronic Delivery, Mar 2007 (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001)

Labour Force, Australia - Electronic Delivery presents a range of Excel spreadsheets and SuperTABLE datacubes based on the results of the monthly Labour Force Survey. These monthly spreadsheets contain broad level data covering all the major items of the Labour Force Survey in time series format, including seasonally adjusted and trend estimates. The monthly SuperTABLE datacubes contain more detailed and cross classified original data than the spreadsheets.

Wage and Salary Earners, Public Sector, Australia, Mar 2007 (cat. no. 6248.0.55.001)

Released on 14 June 2007, this publication contains estimates of gross earnings and number of public sector employees by level of government by state. It also contains estimates of gross earnings and number of public sector employees by industry for Australia.

Building Approvals, Australia, Apr 2007 (cat. no. 8731.0)

Released on a monthly basis, Building Approvals, Australia provides data by Statistical Local Area in datacubes, including:
  • the number and value of dwelling units approved by sector (public/private) and by state;
  • the number and value of new other residential dwelling units approved by type of building; and
  • the number and value of non-residential building jobs approved by type of building (i.e. by function such as 'retail and wholesale trade', 'offices') and value ranges.

Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates by state are included for the number of dwelling units and value of building approved.

NSW in Focus (cat. no. 1338.1)

NSW in Focus was released on 17 May 2007 and provides a contemporary record of activity within the state, presenting an array of useful and interesting statistics from both ABS and non-ABS sources. The materials presented in this publication are organised into twelve chapters representing areas of social or economic importance: population, family and community, health, education and training, work, economic resources, housing, crime and justice, transport, economic activity, and the environment. The final chapter presents national and international indicators.

For further information on this product, contact Allan McLean on (02) 9268 4795 or email client.services@abs.gov.au.

Improving Statistics on Older Persons: An Information Development Plan (cat. no. 4146.0)

This Information Development Plan (IDP) is due for release on 26 September 2007 and will define the current significant statistical issues relating to ageing data, including data needs and data sources relevant to key policy concerns. This will allow data gaps and deficiencies in existing data sets to be highlighted. This Plan will also include an agreement to improve relevant ageing statistics with the responsibility for such development assigned to key stakeholders. Examples of such development activities include the improved use of existing information through better sharing and access to administrative data and the promotion of the use of standards in surveys and administration collections. Through this agreement, and the IDP process in general, active collaboration and coordination between the ABS and those working in the ageing field will improve the information available to support policy and decision making.

Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (cat. no. 4705.0)

This product is due for release in August 2007 and will present counts of Indigenous Australians from the 2006 Census, accompanied by information on data quality to help interpret the data. Population estimates of the Indigenous population based on the 2006 Census are also included with counts of small areas including Indigenous Areas and Locations.

Links to previous issues of Local Government and ABS

Local Government and ABS Issue 17 March 2007
Local Government and ABS Issue 16 December 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 15 September 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 14 July 2006
Local Government and ABS Issue 13 April 2006

Newsletter and ABS Contact Details

This newsletter is one way to help improve communication between the ABS and the Local Government Sector. New ABS initiatives to assist local government organisations will be announced in this newsletter as they evolve.

We would appreciate receiving your views and suggestions about this newsletter so that it remains useful and assists you to understand and use ABS statistics. We would also welcome suggestions for articles that you feel should be included. Please email your comments and suggestions to regional.statistics@abs.gov.au or telephone (08) 8237 7369.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to
regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with 'Subscribe - Local Government and ABS' in the subject line.

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter: send an email to
regional.statistics@abs.gov.au with 'Unsubscribe - Local Government and ABS' in the subject line.

To find this newsletter on th
e ABS Website:

For enquiries contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or e-mail: client.services@abs.gov.au.