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(a) the improvement, extension and co-ordination of statistical services provided for public purposes in Australia;
(b) annual and longer term priorities and programs of work that should be adopted in relation to major aspects of the provision of those statistical services; and
(c) any other matters relating generally to those statistical services.
The Act provides that the Council shall consist of a part-time Chair, the Australian Statistician (ex officio), and between ten and twenty two part-time members, including one nominee from each State Premier or Chief Minister Department. The Chair and members are appointed by the responsible Minister for periods of five years and up to three years respectively, and are eligible for reappointment. The membership of the Council as at 30 June 2007 is detailed at Appendix 1.
Subsection 24(2) of the Act provides that: the Council shall, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, prepare and submit to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report relating to matters connected with the operation of this Act.