4602.0 - Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices, Mar 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/11/2006   
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1 This publication contains results from a survey on Waste Management and Transport Use which was conducted throughout Australia in March 2006 as part of the Monthly Population Survey (MPS). It is a continuation of series of surveys on this topic, conducted since March 1996 for waste and April 1996 for transport. The previous survey was conducted in March 2003. The major aim of the survey was to collect data on how households manage their waste and how Australians usually travel to work, place of study and other places. Information was also collected on household motor vehicle ownership and maintenance.

2 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS), which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.

3 From April 2001, the LFS has been conducted using a redesigned questionnaire containing additional questions and some minor definitional changes. These changes also affect the supplementary surveys. For further details, see Information Paper: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (cat. no. 6295.0) and Information Paper: Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey (cat. no. 6232.0).


Survey Vehicle

4 The Monthly Population Survey is based on a multi-stage area sample of private dwellings (houses, flats, etc.) and a list sample of non-private dwellings (hotels, motels, etc.). The sample for a monthly population survey is approximately 30,000 dwellings, but only half of these (i.e. 15,000) were included in the March supplementary topic. For the March 2006 survey, there were 14,603 full responding households and 14,600 fully responding individuals.

Data collection

5 Information was collected through interviews conducted over a two-week period during March 2006.

6 Information was collected from any responsible adult in the household who was asked to respond on behalf of the person or household.

7 Information for this survey was collected using computer assisted interviewing (CAI), whereby interviewers record responses directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer. In the March 2004 survey, the CAI method was used on a random sample of 70% of survey interviews in all states and territories. The remaining 30% of interviews were conducted using the traditional 'pen and paper' method. In the March 2006 survey, all interviews were conducted using the CAI method.

8 The change in interviewing method is not expected to have affected the estimates in any meaningful way.


9 The survey was conducted in both rural and urban areas in all states and territories of Australia, but excluded people living in very remote and sparsely settled parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these people will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual states and territories, with the exception of the Northern Territory where such persons account for over 20% of the population.

10 In this supplementary survey, persons aged 18 years and over who were usual residents of private dwellings were included except:

  • members of the Australian permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from censuses and surveys;
  • overseas residents in Australia;
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependents) stationed in Australia; and
  • residents of other non-private dwellings such as hospitals, motels and gaols.


11 The estimates in this publication relate to persons and households covered by the survey in March 2006. In the LFS, coverage rules were applied which aimed to ensure that each person was associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection. See Labour Force Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


12 A set of changing topics rotate over a period of three years. The topics contained in this publication compare with some data collected in 1996, 2000, and 2003. Where applicable, the data have been included in this publication for comparison.

13 An important point to note is that the environment topics were surveyed using a 'personal interview' methodology before 1997. From 1997 onwards the 'any responsible adult' methodology has been applied. When comparing post-1997 and pre-1997 data readers should be aware that some differences in the data may be explained by the change in methodology rather than representing real changes over time.


14 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:

15 Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For further information refer to the Technical Note.

16 Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether in full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and efficient data processing procedures.


17 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics ACT 1905.


18 The next environmental supplementary survey will focus on Water use and conservation. The survey will be run in March 2007.


19 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS publications:

      Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0) - 1992 to 2005 issues.
      Australia's Environment Issues and Trends 2006 (cat.no. 4613.0)
      Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (cat.no. 9208.0)


20 Further key references on waste management and transport use can be found through the following web sites:
21 Current publications produced by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no.1101.0). The catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <https://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.


22 In addition to the statistics provided in this publication, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints, tabulations can be produced from the survey by cross-classifying any of the following data items for the relevant survey populations. All inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

      Capital city and balance of State/Territory
      Dissemination or Statistical Regions
      Household characteristics
          Household type
          One family household
          Couple with dependent child(ren)
          One parent with dependent child(ren)
          Couple only
          Other one family households
          Multiple family household
          With dependent child(ren)
          Without dependent child(ren)
          Non-family household
          Lone person
          Group household
      Number of usual residents
          One person
          Two persons
          Three persons
          Four persons
          Five persons
          Six or more persons