1301.6.55.001 - Tasmanian Statistical News, Sep 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/09/2009   
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From the Regional Director's desk
ABS assistance for COAG measurement
Overcoming the challenges for Community Indicators
The Demographic Change Advisory Council (DCAC) Strategies Paper
Busy time for Environment and Agriculture Business Statistics Centre
TableBuilder now available!
Transfer of Information Consultancy Services
February and March popular months for marriages in Tasmania in 2008
Spotlight on crime
Upcoming free seminars


Along with the Australian Statistician, the Tasmanian ABS Regional Director, Lisa Wardlaw-Kelly, recently joined an ABS delegation that participated in bilateral discussions on statistical issues with the Canadian Government. The itinerary included visits to Statistics Canada and the United States Agricultural Statistics Service to exchange information about the agricultural and environmental statistical programs conducted in these countries and discuss common challenges. The Australia-Canada bilateral meetings involved the chief statisticians from both countries and covered a range of strategic issues of relevance to both countries including factors affecting the conduct of Population Censuses, the Global Statistical System and opportunities for collaboration, and developing professional leadership in the context of the modern workforce.


ABS is set to provide some assistance to the Tasmanian Government around Council of Australian Governments (COAG) measurement issues with a three month outposting to the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC), commencing in early October 2009.

The COAG Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations is intended to improve the quality and effectiveness of the delivery of government services across a number of areas. New arrangements focus on delivery of specific outcomes in the community and performance indicators will be used to inform the community on how governments are progressing toward achieving the stated objectives, outcomes and outputs. As part of this, the COAG Reform Council (CRC) will report comparative performance information for all jurisdictions. These reports will focus on ensuring public accountability is realised through the timely production of clear, easy to read and useful reports analysing and assessing the performance of governments.

In Tasmania, the role of the outposted officer will primarily be to assist the Tasmanian Government in overcoming measurement issues associated with the reporting requirements for the Intergovernmental Agreement; Specific Purpose Payments; and National Partnerships. Within this, the outposting aims to:
  • understand COAG measurement issues for Tasmania and the operating environment involved;
  • understand and link with key players involved in COAG reporting across State agencies to ensure a collaborative approach to measurement issues;
  • clarify deadlines and priorities for performance indicators;
  • identify and prioritise areas for ABS assistance in the longer term.

Further information on this outposting can be obtained by contacting Ms Cassy Short at ABS (tasmania.statistics@abs.gov.au), ph 03 6222 5803; or Mr John McCormick at DPAC (john.f.mccormick@dpac.tas.gov.au); ph 03 6232 7168.


The topic of community-based indicators generated a lively discussion between government staff, academics and community workers at a recent Community Indicators Summit held in Brisbane on 22-23 July. Community-based indicators are becoming a hot topic as the global discussion around measuring well-being as more than just economics in society gains impetus.

Phillip Hoysted, from Tasmania Together, participated in the panel discussion on issues in using and developing community indicator frameworks. Phillip, along with panel members, Rick Williams, from Queensland Department of Communities, and Alice Thompson, from Infrastructure Australia, was able to share his perspective and give insight about the difficulties and challenges in creating workable frameworks in communities. Some of these challenges included targeting the right group and recognising the limits of these frameworks.

The Summit, hosted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), is also an important event for advancing the National Statistical Service. The Summit highlighted the benefits of having integrated information management methods and promoted a coordinated, coherent and consistent approach to the development of community indicators across Australia.

The Summit is just one of hundreds of initiatives being held around the world relating to measuring progress and well-being at international, national and sub-national levels. Outcomes from the Summit, including the Summit declaration prepared by delegates, will be presented as part of Australia's contribution to the 3rd OECD World Forum on 'Statistics, Knowledge and Policy' to be held in Busan, Korea in October 2009.

The Summit video presentations are available through the NSS website. See www.nss.gov.au/communityindicators09 for more details.

If you would like more information on the Summit or future NSS events please email inquiries@nss.gov.au.


The Demographic Change Advisory Council (DCAC) is the key advisory body on demographic change issues that are likely to affect the Tasmanian community and economy over the coming years. The Council is made up of high-level representatives from government, business and community sectors, including the Tasmanian ABS Regional Director, Ms Lisa Wardlaw-Kelly (ex-officio member).

The role of the Council is to:
  • research and analyse information and trends on demographic change issues;
  • lead and influence the debate on demographic change issues and the possible strategies available to address these issues; and
  • facilitate the sharing of information and research across relevant stakeholder groups within Tasmania.

DCAC have consulted widely on strategies that will address the demographic challenges and opportunities facing Tasmania. The Strategies Paper - Demographic Change in Tasmania: Strategies for addressing challenges and opportunities is available on the DCAC website: http://www.dcac.tas.gov.au/


The Environment and Agriculture Business Statistics Centre (BSC) is located within the ABS' Tasmanian Office. The BSC is responsible for collecting agricultural and environmental statistics from agricultural and other businesses throughout Australia.

Activity in the BSC increased recently with the engagement of extra staff to cope with the processing of returns for the annual Agriculture and Vineyards Surveys.

As well as this increased seasonal activity, the overall publication program has been increasing and keeping the Centre's staff very busy. During one week in August 2009, the Centre released three separate titles: Stocks of Grain held by Bulk Grain Handlers, Australia (cat. no. 7122.0.55.001), Wheat Use and Stocks, Australia (cat. no. 7307.0) and Monthly Livestock and Meat, Australia (cat. no. 7218.0.55.001). A further two reports were issued in the following week.

As well as its regular work, the Centre is currently undertaking a benchmark Land Management Practices survey of land owners in the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef. Data from the survey will be used by government to determine changes in agricultural land management practices that may be impacting on the reef.

For more information on the activities of the Environment and Agriculture BSC call (03) 6222 5804 or email david.brereton@abs.gov.au.


New Census product TableBuilder was released on 28 August 2009 on the ABS website.

TableBuilder is similar to CDATA Online, but is bigger, faster and better. Users can create large tables of up to five million cells, make faster selection of data items and have greater flexibility in combining Census variables of interest.

Unlike the topic based CDATA Online, TableBuilder provides access to all variables contained in the Census Output Record File. Users can choose to count persons, families or dwellings, and the product is designed to provide clients with the highest degree of freedom in selecting and combining data items and the geographical areas most suited to their needs.

TableBuilder is a subscription only service and costs $1,655 (incl. GST).

This price is an individual user price for a single Census reference cycle. Each registration remains valid for the life of the product and includes access to training and ongoing help-line support.

To register, download the Application and Undertaking Form (Adobe Acrobat .pdf).


Improved access and growth in the availability of free statistics on the ABS website has contributed to a reduced demand for information consultancy services supported by the Tasmanian Office.

From 1 July 2009, in order that Tasmanian based clients retain access to statistical expertise which guarantees quality and responsive solutions in line with the ABS Service Delivery Charter, the Tasmanian Information Consultancy service has been transferred to the New South Wales Office of the ABS.

The new service can be contacted on 1300 135 070.


There were 2,685 marriages registered in Tasmania during 2008.

The month in which the most marriages were celebrated was March, with 466.

This was equivalent to 93.2 for each of the five Saturdays in that month.

While the total number of registrations in February was 94 fewer than in March, the number per Saturday was much the same with 93.0 marriages celebrated for each of the four Saturdays in the month.

Further information is available in Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 3310.0), which can be found on the ABS website.

Diagram: Spotlight on crimeSPOTLIGHT ON CRIME

Tasmania Police initiated action against 13,255 offenders during 2007-08

Statistics have been released for the first time about Tasmania Police proceedings against offenders.

Recorded Crime - Offenders, Selected states and territories, 2007-08 (cat. no. 4519.0) is a new publication that details the number and characteristics of alleged offenders aged 10 years and over for selected states and territories. It complements the existing ABS publications relating to victims, criminal courts and corrective services.

During 2007-08 Tasmania Police proceeded against 13,255 alleged offenders.

Young people aged between 10-19 years accounted for 31.3% of all offenders proceeded against by police.

Over three quarters of all offenders (77.5%) were male.

The most common principal offences for offenders (aged 10 years and over) were:
  • Public order offences (3,308 offenders)
  • Acts intended to cause injury (2,397 offenders)
  • Illicit drug offences (1,877 offenders)
  • Theft and related offences (1,285 offenders)

More details are available in Recorded Crime - Offenders, Selected states and territories, 2007-08 (cat. no. 4519.0) available for free download from the ABS website.

Fall in the number of recorded crime victims in Tasmania

National statistics released on 4 June 2009 include information about incidents of victimisation for a selected range of criminal offences that came to the attention of Tasmania police and were recorded by them in the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008.The statistics provide information about the characteristics of the victim and the nature of the criminal incidents.

Depending on the type of offence, a victim in the recorded crime collection can be a person, a premises, an organisation or a motor vehicle. A person reporting a crime with multiple offences in the same incident may either be counted multiple times, or may be counted only once, depending on the types of offences committed during the incident. For example, a victim who was robbed and abducted in the same incident would be counted separately as a victim under the offences of robbery and kidnapping/abduction. Conversely, a victim of multiple assaults in the same incident would be counted only once as the offences committed fall within the same offence group.

There were no incidents recorded by Tasmanian Police in 2008 involving victims of Homicides and related offences or Kidnapping/abduction, This compares with 13 recorded victims of Homicides and related offences and 3 recorded victims of Kidnapping/abduction in 2007.

Compared to 2007, the number of victims recorded by Tasmania police in 2008 decreased for Assault, Sexual assault, Kidnapping/abduction, Murder, Robbery, and Unlawful entry with intent. The offence categories recording the largest declines were Unarmed robbery (down 37%), Armed robbery (down 33%) and Sexual assault (down 23%). The only category of criminal offence for which there was an increase in the number of recorded victims was Motor vehicle theft (up 10%).

A data cube with the counts of victims by offence categories recorded by Tasmania Police for each of the years 1999 to 2008 can be accessed by visiting the ABS website and downloading publication tables 3.1-3.8 from the Download tab for Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2008(cat. no. 4510.0).


Our seminar program presented by the Tasmanian National Statistical Service (NSS), formerly known as the Community of Users and Producers of Statistics (CUPS), is free and well-attended.

NSS Seminars coming up in the next few months include:
  • The LIST - November 2009: An officer from DPIPWE will talk about the LIST (Land Information System Tasmania): a whole of government service that delivers integrated land information online. Time and venue to be advised closer to the date.

If you wish to attend or want more information please email tasmania.statistics@abs.gov.au.