1100.2 - Statistics Victoria, June 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/07/2010   
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What's Happening

NatStats 2010 Conference

ABS and the National Statistical Service will be hosting the second NatStats Conference at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, on 15-17 September 2010. The conference theme is "Measuring what counts: economic development, wellbeing and progress in 21st century Australia", and will explore drivers of economic and related social change that are shaping Australia's progress. Conference speakers will highlight the importance of statistics in understanding and responding to these challenges. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to contribute your ideas for improving Australia's statistical system for the future.

Dr Ken Henry AC, Secretary to Commonwealth Treasury, will deliver the conference's opening plenary address.The Hon Dr Geoff Gallop AC, Director of Graduate School of Government at University of Sydney will deliver a presentation focused around improving the wellbeing of Australians. Prof Paul Cheung, Director of United Nations Statistics Division, will also speak as part of a detailed panel discussion "Measuring progress: from theory to practice", alongside Dr David Gruen, Director of Treasury's Macro-Economic Group.

Other speakers include: Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary of Dept of Health and Ageing who will speak on the role of statistics in health; and Mr Paul McClintock AO, Chairman of COAG Reform Council, on the measurement of disadvantage, inequality, and social inclusion. Ms Martine Durand, Chief Statistician and Director of OECD Statistics Directorate, and Mr Phil Lowe, Assistant Governor (Economic) of Reserve Bank of Australia will together examine changes we can expect to witness in the global economy and implications for Australia.

For a full list of confirmed speakers, program and registration information, please visit the NatStats Conference website or email natstats@nss.gov.au.

NatStats 2010:
Date: Wed 15 - Fri 17 September 2010
Venue: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour
Cost: $795 Early Bird (until July 16, 2010), $995 Full Fee

Review of uses of Labour Employer based Statistics

It is important for ABS to understand the needs of its clients so that relevant statistics are produced. ABS is currently reviewing the uses made of labour employer statistics produced, and is seeking comments and feedback about how these data sets are being used. The suite of labour employer statistics under review are:

  • Average Weekly Earnings (ABS cat. no. 6302.0)
  • Employee Earnings and Hours (ABS cat. no. 6306.0)
  • Employment and Earnings, Public Sector (ABS cat. no. 6248.0 55.002)
  • Industrial Disputes (ABS cat. no. 6321.0.55.001)
  • Job Vacancies (ABS cat. no. 6354.0)
  • Labour Costs (ABS cat. no. 6348.0.55.001)

If you would like to contribute to this review, please forward your submission by email to labour.employer.surveys@abs.gov.au by no later than 6:00pm (AEST), 26 July 2010. If you have any queries or would like to discuss your submission, please contact Manpreet Singh at manpreet.singh@abs.gov.au or on (08) 9360 5363.

National Regional Profile

The latest National Regional Profile (NRP) (cat. no. 1379.0.55.001) contains data snapshots for over 2,000 regions across Australia, with five years of data where available.

For each region you will find a range of data divided into four categories: 'economy', 'population/people', 'industry' and 'environment/energy'. The data are from ABS and other sources, for geographic areas such as Statistical Local Areas, Local Government Areas, State/Territory and Australia. Data are presented for all years on common boundaries, making it easy to compare data over time. Included for the first time are data on estimates of household wealth, age of motor vehicles, water use on Australian farms and selected government pensions and allowances.

This latest NRP has a very new look to the 'entry' page, which uses an interactive map and list to find your region of interest.

Screen shot of Stonnington LGA in the NRP

As an example, comparing the Local Government Area (LGA) of Stonnington with Bayside, their profiles show that:
  • Stonnington had an average taxable income of $95,552 in 2006-07, while in Bayside it was $85,072.
  • As at 31 March 2008, both LGAs had high proportions of vehicles less than five years old (over 30%).

If you want to compare more than a few regions at a time, you can do this by using the SuperTABLE datacube in NRP. For example, you could find that:
  • Stonnington had the highest average taxable income in Victoria in 2006-07, and also the largest percentage increase from the previous year (14.8%). Bayside had the second highest average taxable income in that year.
  • Within Victoria for year ending 30 June 2008, Stonnington had the second highest average value of private sector houses ($855,600), while Bayside had the fifth highest ($535,500). Melbourne (C) had the highest average value of private sector houses ($901,300).

The NRP is available from the ABS Home page, or directly from this link: National Regional Profile. Help using the NRP includes 'How to find a region', 'Comparing regions', and Demonstration Videos.

Australia’s share of world economic demonstrated resources

Mining broadly relates to the extraction of minerals occurring naturally as solids such as coal and ores, liquids such as crude petroleum, or gases such as natural gas. The mining industry contributes about 8% to Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) and half the value of total goods exported.

ABS's Mining Statistics Newsletter 2009-10 (8418.0) notes that Australia has a large percentage of the world’s economic demonstrated resources (EDR’s), including resources which are inaccessible for mining because of environmental restrictions, government policies or military lands. EDR’s are proven or probable resource reserves. As at December 2008, Australia had 38% of the EDR for Nickel, 38% for Uranium, 33% for Lead, 28% for Zinc and 25% for Brown Coal. Other significant amounts of the world’s EDR (including inaccessible resources) reserves within Australia include 20% of Silver, 16% of Industrial Diamonds, 15% of Iron Ore and 13% of Gold. Source: Geoscience Australia, Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources 2009, Table 1.

In 2008-09, West Australian mining businesses employed the most persons (56,000 persons), followed by Queensland (37,000) and New South Wales (24,000). Overall, employment in the mining industry rose marginally in most states except for Tasmania, where levels remained constant. In total, employees of Australia's mining industry took home $15.5 billion in wages and salaries, $2.8 billion more than the previous year.

On an industry basis, mining over the last four years has almost tripled the value of exports, with sales in 2008-09 valued at $117.6 billion. In terms of production in that period, the main mineral products were black coal (raw), iron ore, bauxite and alumina; while natural gas and crude oil and condensate were the two main petroleum (field) products. The major markets for Australian minerals and petroleum are Japan (25% of total mineral exports by value), China, Republic of (South) Korea and India.

The Long Walk: Nothing short of a hit!

The ABS Statistical Literacy Unit and the Victorian Census Management Unit sponsored over 100 young participants from rural and regional Victoria to participate in The Long Walk, an Indigenous community event raising awareness of Indigenous cultures and building the capacity of Indigenous communities. The sponsored children and teenagers travelled to Melbourne from their homes in Lake Tyers, Mildura, Swan Hill, Robinvale, Kerang, Bendigo and Nowa Nowa.

The young visitors, together with passers-by, participated in a handball competition (pictured above) which helped develop their statistical understanding by graphing target-hitting scores, interpreting percentages of goals scored, and using player rankings to determining relative performances. The activities were designed to be a fun and exciting way to relate statistics to the students' interests, and it proved to be hugely popular, both with the young people as well as their group leaders, parents and guardians. The event also helped the ABS to raise awareness about Census 2011, and the important role the Census plays in Australia's democracy.

The festivities were followed by a commemorative walk to the MCG for 'Dreamtime at the G', the AFL's Indigenous round between Essendon and Richmond.

The Long Walk is an annual event inspired by Essendon champion Michael Long's landmark trek in November 1994, when he walked more than 650 kilometres from his home in suburban Melbourne to Parliament House in Canberra in order to put Indigenous issues on the national agenda. The Long Walk is not only a tribute to Michael Long's efforts, but also a vehicle for facilitating Indigenous leadership development and for promoting Indigenous community well-being.

ABS-sponsored activities at Federation Square were among a host of other activities and performances at the event, including the Koorie Night Market, traditional Indigenous games with Essendon and Richmond players, signing sessions with Indigenous sporting heroes, Indigenous Hip Hop project workshops and shows by Indigenous performing artists.

The ABS would like to thank all the students, teachers, parents, community leaders and volunteers who helped to make the ABS' participation in The Long Walk a very BIG success!

Local Government Portal now on the ABS website

A Local Government Portal is now accessible on the ABS website. This page is aimed at assisting ABS clients in the local government sector to find information required for planning and delivering services to their communities. Resources include:
  • Finding Data for Local Government Areas
  • Finding Data for States/Territories
  • Helping you use data
  • How the ABS uses your data
  • Keeping you informed
  • Helpful links for Local Government Organisations

Six-monthly revisions to Estimated Resident Population

Estimated Resident Population (ERP) revisions will occur six-monthly from September 2010 onwards with the release of Australian Demographic Statistics March quarter 2010 (cat. no. 3101.0). These improvements are designed to give a more current and accurate ERP by using up-to-date Net Overseas Migration (NOM) data. While this will not have any impact on the difference between preliminary and final NOM estimates, this change will provide for earlier release of revised ERP figures.

With the introduction of improved methods for estimating Net Overseas Migration, ABS has developed an analytical data set called the Travellers Characteristics Data Base. These improvements allow the derivation of an individual's actual travel behaviour (using final NOM data) and record certain characteristics for any traveller who has contributed to NOM.

For further information see Demography News, June 2010 (Cat no 3106.0, released 08/06/2010).

Using Statistics for Evidence Based Policy

ABS has recently developed a 'Guide for Using Statistics for Evidence Based Policy' that is now available on the ABS website. The guide provides useful information about how statistics can be used to make informed policy decisions, and includes:
  • What is evidence based decision making?
  • How good statistics can enhance the decision making process
  • Using statistics for making evidence based decisions
  • Data awareness
  • Understanding statistical concepts and terminology
  • Analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information
  • Communicate statistical findings
  • Evaluate outcomes of policy decisions

What is a Data Quality Statement?

A Data Quality Statement is a presentation about the quality of a data item or collection of data items, using the ABS Data Quality Framework. A Data Quality Statement allows potential users to make informed decisions about fitness for use and reliability of data. This FAQ sheet on the National Statistical Service website has more information.

Farewell to the Editor

The Victorian Statistical Leadership Branch would like to take the opportunity to thank and farewell our former editor of Statistics Victoria, Alan Page.

Alan served at the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 27 years before retiring on 25 June 2010. He has been the editor of Statistics Victoria since its inception in 2002, and played an instrumental role in bringing this issue of Statistics Victoria together before his departure.

We are sure you will join us in thanking Alan for his contributions to the ABS and wishing him a long and enjoyable retirement.