7101.0 - Ag Mag - The Agriculture Newsletter, Sep 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/09/2008   
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Ag Mag | the agriculture newsletter

The ABS is currently taking a serious look at the content of its Agricultural Censuses and Surveys to address the increasing demands made on the ABS for collection of a wider range of economic, social and environmental information from Australian agricultural businesses.

In consultation with users of the data and those who seek data, the ABS is aiming to:
  • identify major current and emerging government agricultural policy data requirements;
  • identify industry, consumer, and public issues requiring statistical information for informed debate in the area of agriculture;
  • identify the main current and potential sources of agriculture statistics;
  • obtain a consensus on the issues of most importance; and
  • create a strategy to effectively use resources to meet highest priority needs.
Farmer sitting on fence
To rank the issues by level of importance, certain statistical characteristics such as geographical level, frequency and industry level are being taken into consideration. As well, end-use will help determine if subsequent questions should be regarded as essential or receive a lower priority.

Responses provided from consultations so far indicate that the identification of the priority areas is consistent with government policy directions. However, as has previously been recognised by users, substantial additional funding is required if the ABS is to match the content and frequency necessary to inform all the priority areas which have been identified.

The outcomes of ABS' initial look at a possible future for the Agriculture program will be finalised in October in time for wider consultation and preparation for the 2008/09 and subsequent survey cycles.

For more information please contact Robyn Elphinstone on (02) 6252 5502.