7101.0 - Ag Mag - The Agriculture Newsletter, May 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2011   
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After many months of preparation, ABS is "on the grid .... engines gunning .... drivers gripping the steering wheel" and waiting for the starter's gun to signal the start of the 2011 Agricultural Census.

The Census forms are due to be sent out in June 2011. We will send out forms to all agricultural businesses throughout Australia, which will begin the information gathering process. Businesses will have fourteen days to fill in the form and get it back to ABS ... we even supply a reply paid envelope, so it's easy to pop in the mail and hurry it back to us. The information then goes through a rigorous analysis phase before being published, in a variety of ways, on the ABS website. Preliminary data are expected to be published before the end of 2011.

All the information provided by businesses in the Agricultural Census is kept strictly confidential. We, at ABS, go to great lengths (and even have an element of pride) in ensuring the safety and confidentiality of the information with which we are entrusted ... in fact, we are legislatively bound to do so through the Census and Statistics Act of 1905. In other words, we have been keeping Australians' personal and business data safe for over 100 years.

In our last edition of "Ag Mag" (March 2011) we told you about what goes on with an Agricultural Census for those who may not have seen it before.


In previous censuses, survey forms have only been sent out in hard copy, paper form. For the first time, the Agricultural Census can be completed online. The ABS recognises that Australians are increasingly moving towards using the Internet for many of their day to day tasks and now expect government services to be available electronically. So, ABS is encouraging as many agricultural respondents as possible to make use of this electronic option (via the E-form) to provide their information. Details on how to access "Ag Census Online" will be included along with the paper Agricultural Census forms, which will be despatched in mid June 2011. All agricultural businesses will receive the usual paper form as well as the details about how to use the E-form. Each respondent can then choose whichever options suits them better.

What happens next?
  • If you are the owner of an agricultural business look out for further information about the Ag Census in the media and on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au) and keep an eye on your mailbox in June 2011 for a copy of the form and the E-form access details.
  • If you are a researcher, manager or policy maker interested in agriculture, look out for first results from the Ag Census on the ABS website (see link above) in late 2011.