1100.2 - Statistics Victoria (Newsletter), Issue 1, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/2001   
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In this issue:

2001 Census Update
Introducing the New Assistant Director for State Government Liaison
NCETS Theme page
ABS Statistical Training
Victorian Indicators of Community Well-being
Measuring Australia's Progress
Industrial Disputes Collection
ABS proposal to revamp producer and international trade price index publications
Study of Foreign and Domestic Investment in Private New Capital Expenditure, Victoria
Review of the public sector component of the Survey of Employment and Earnings
The 2001-2002 Labour Force Supplementary Survey Program
Indigenous Social Survey
The new Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)
Release of 2001 Victorian Year Book
Australian Social Trends 2001
Occasional Paper: The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Australia
Internet Activity, Australia
Illicit Drug Use, Sources of Data, Australia
Other Recent and Expected Releases
VSAC Departmental Contacts
Contact points for ABS Victoria


Census Collectors Recruitment Launch - Governor leads the way for civic minded citizens to take up the challenge

The Governor, John Landy, made a major contribution to the success of the 2001 Census in Victoria, by launching the recruitment campaign for 5800 Census Collectors. Governor Landy emphasised the importance of the Census to the entire community and urged all Victorians to get behind the Census.

Census Time Capsule - A landmark event

The 2001 Census of Population and Housing, Australia's Fourteenth, and the first of the new Century can be regarded as a landmark event in Census taking for Australia. For the first time in Australian Census taking history, Australians are being given the opportunity to agree to having their names and addresses, along with their name-identified data being retained as a "gift" to the nation for the Centenary of Federation. If a person elects to have their data preserved, it will be kept securely on microfiche in the vaults of the National Archives of Australia and will be available for release after 99 years in the year 2100. Genealogists and historians have welcomed this initiative and believe that preserving this rich data set will be of great value to researchers of the future.

Computers and the internet

One of the major changes in contemporary society has been the impact of the personal computer and the use of the internet as an information resource and communication medium. The 2001 Census has included two new questions on these issues - firstly, to identify how widespread the use of the personal computer has become in the home, and secondly, the use of the Internet within Australia. This data will provide a valuable planning resource for Government and the private sector, and will provide the potential for better service delivery, especially in regional and rural Australia.

Ancestry - 15 years on

Results from the 1996 Census showed that 22 percent of the population were not born in Australia. Whilst there are a number of Census questions that relate to overseas born, there has not been a specific question asking a person's ancestry since 1986. The inclusion of an ancestry question for 2001 will provide a fuller understanding of Australia's diverse population, and deliver an essential resource for developing policies and services that reflect the needs of all Australians.

Improving the Count - the Homeless, the Indigenous and the Overseas Born

There has always been a recognition that Australia runs one of the best Censuses in the world, and 1996 is regarded as the best ever undertaken. However, whilst the undercount of 1.6 percent for the population as a whole is a highly regarded statistical indicator, there is a recognised challenge to improve the counts for Kooris, the homeless and those born overseas.

ABS has embraced this challenge by dedicating specialist management resources to evaluate and enhance previous enumeration strategies. In another core initiative the ABS has actively formed partnerships with peak bodies and senior representatives of ethnic and indigenous communities to better utilise these valuable resources for promoting participation and improving the count for 2001.

Provision of a separate Census Inquiry Service number for ethnic communities and the expansion of the Census interpreter service to cover 20 major languages is also seen as a major initiative for improving the overall participation of overseas born.

For more information on Census issues contact Andrew Henderson, Director Population Census Victoria on 03 9615 7325


ABS Victoria would like to introduce Sophie Vassiliou as the new Assistant Director - State Government Liaison. Sophie will be responsible for developing strategic links between the ABS and Victorian Government agencies and furthering an understanding of the articulation between policy imperatives and the statistical needs of key clients.

Sophie brings valuable experience to the role with an extensive background in State Government liaison and statistical research and development in areas such as industry classifications and service industry price indexes. Sophie previously worked in the Economic and Social Statistics Unit providing advice and assistance to State Government on statistical issues and reviews associated with ABS's economic surveys and on the State Statistical Priorities process.

If you would like to discuss your statistical needs or require information about how the ABS can help you, contact Sophie Vassiliou on 03 9615 7864 or email sophia.vassiliou@abs.gov.au.


The National Centre for Education and Training Statistics (NCETS) launched its 'theme page' as part of the ABS web site on 1 February 2001.

This 'page' includes information about sources of statistics, the best people to talk to, and the latest projects being undertaken within the Centre. It also provides links to other useful national and international sites.

The 'theme page' will be updated regularly to include any new information, for example, a link was made to the Schools Australia, Preliminary statistics publication released on 12 February 2001.

It is hoped that this initiative will prove to be a useful resource for people wishing to find out what is going on in education and training statistics.

The new 'page' can be accessed at www.abs.gov.au/ncets .

Client enquiries can be sent to the following email address: ncets@abs.gov.au .

Specialist ABS staff will conduct a one-day seminar called 'Understanding Demographic Data' on 17 May 2001. Key issues to be covered during the seminar include:
  • Relationship of Population Census counts to Estimated Resident Population.
  • Components of population growth: births, deaths, and internal and overseas migration.
  • Population projections
  • Estimating population for small areas
  • The relevance of demographic data to social and economic issues
  • Tools for demographic analysis, with practical exercises (bring your calculator).
  • Population dynamics: How fertility, ageing and migration affect the population profile.

For further information regarding this seminar, or regarding our regular training schedule, please contact Kathleen Horgan on (03) 9615 7400 or email kathleen.horgan@abs.gov.au.

Principles of Questionnaire Design

This 2 day course provides an awareness and understanding of questionnaire design principles

applicable to both household and business surveys.
30 & 31 May 2001

Basic Statistical Analysis

This 2 day course develops knowledge of descriptive statistics involving analysis of variables to describe data. Includes hands-on spreadsheet work to demonstrate basic statistical techniques, and produce tables and charts.

17 & 18 May 2001


Focus Group Techniques

A 2 day course which includes deciding when focus groups are most useful, their conduct and facilitation, and analysis of results.

20 & 21 June 2001


Turning Data into Information

A 2 day course providing skills in the processes and techniques of data analysis important for addressing social issues.

25 & 26 July 2001



Work is progressing towards the mid-2001 release of a framework for well-being indicators for Victorian communities. Activity so far this year has focused on developing the priority topics for the indicators agreed at a meeting of senior State Government officials on 29 November 2000.

Issues papers on several of these topics were distributed for comment in March. The papers sought to clarify the concepts to be measured and presented various options for indicators. While the period for comment has now closed, the papers are available for reference from the project's page on the ABS web site (follow the links Themes/Victoria/News/Regional Indicators project).

The specific indicators to be included in the framework will be determined by the end of April, in consultation with the State Government. The ABS team will then assemble the framework, which will document the agreed concepts, statistical standards to be used, and the recommended methodology for constructing the indicators. Work on producing the indicators themselves will commence in the new financial year.

For further information on this project, contact Bruce Fraser on (03) 9615 7495 or e-mail bruce.fraser@abs.gov.au.

Measuring a nation's progress -providing information about whether life is getting better- is one of the most important tasks that a national statistical agency can take on. For almost 100 years, the ABS has been measuring Australia's progress through the multitude of statistics we publish relating to the economy, society or the environment. However, for the most part, our statistical publications have tended to focus on each of these three broad areas in isolation from the others.

Recent years have seen growing public interest in the inter-relationships between economic, social and environmental aspects of life. There have, for example, been debates about the sustainability of economic growth and a recognition that the environment is neither an inexhaustible source of raw materials nor is capable of absorbing an unlimited amount of waste.

Similarly, progress relates to social concerns - health, education and crime - and whether and how economic growth benefits those areas. Measuring Australia's Progress (MAP), is an exciting new ABS project that hopes to break new ground by considering some of the key aspects of progress side by side and discussing how they are linked with one another. In essence, the publication could be regarded as Australia's triple bottom line.

MAP will contain 15 headline indicators that summarise the state of the economy, society and the environment, so allowing readers to form their own view of Australian progress. The project has been underway for almost a year now and the ABS has received continual feedback from subject matter experts from both within and outside the ABS. During May, we will be presenting seminars throughout Australia aimed at providing those attending with an outline of the proposed content and design of the publication. It is hoped that these seminars, and the whole consultation process, will provide valuable feedback so that further improvements can be made before the publication is released in early 2002.

The Melbourne seminar will be held on Thursday May 10, 2001 from 10:30am -12noon. Those wishing to attend should contact Joseph Salvatore. If you would like further information about the project please contact me, Cristy Williams, on 02 6252 5546.

In 1999, a statistical review of the Industrial Disputes Collection was undertaken. Input was obtained from all major users of the data. The review investigated a wide range of issues such as the classifications used, the introduction of new data items, frequency of publication, and resource/management issues.

The recommendations arising from the review included a number of changes, notably, to change the classifications used in the collection (eg the cause of dispute classification will clearly identify disputes caused by enterprise bargaining); to continue to collect the data monthly but to release a quarterly publication; to not include a data item on 'other forms of labour action' (eg bans); and to include a new data item called 'span of action'.

It was also decided that for efficiency reasons, Industrial Disputes section would be relocated to the Perth Office of the ABS, and become part of the Labour Statistics Centre already located there. This move will take place during July and August of 2001. Implementation of the review recommendations will commence once the collection has bedded down in Perth.

The relocation to Perth will not affect the timely release of the publication nor the provision of special data services for clients. The name and phone number of a new contact person for statistical enquiries related to the collection will be on the front page of the July 2001 publication.

For further information contact Margaret Livingston on (03) 9615 7678 or email margaret.livingston@abs.gov.au.

Currently, the approach to publishing the producer and international trade price indexes is highly fragmented with each of the partial indicators being released in a separate quarterly publication. With the recent development of publications for service industry indexes and the new stage of production (SOP) indexes, there are now 10 quarterly titles. The producer price indexes (PPI) section in Canberra is proposing to combine the current 10 quarterly titles into two ongoing quarterly publications commencing in the June 2001 quarter. One publication will contain the international trade price indexes, with the other containing the remaining producer price indexes focusing on the economy wide SOP indexes as the headline indicator.

Extensive user consultation will be conducted prior to the release of the new publications. With the March 2001 quarter release, users will be provided with a concordance between the content of each table in the old publications and its availability in either one of the new publications, an interim data report or electronic services including Ausstats.

In response to needs raised by State Government, the ABS has developed preliminary estimates produced from a study of the level of foreign and domestic private new capital expenditure in Victoria. The project involved determining ownership characteristics of units in the ABS Survey of Private New Capital Expenditure (Capex) by matching them with units in the Survey of International Investment (SII). An ownership threshold of 50% was used in this study as ownership greater than this level represents significant ownership. Results show that for Victoria, approximately 30 per cent of private new capital expenditure is accounted for by foreign owned businesses. Dissections of Domestic and Foreign private new capital expenditure were also provided at broad industry level.

It is expected that more detailed country dissection will be available from the release of Australia level estimates which at the state level is subject to confidentiality restrictions. Australia level estimates will be included in the feature article of the June issue of Australian Economic Indicators (1350.0).

Further information can be obtained by contacting Marianne Durack on (03) 9615 7465.

The Survey of Employment and Earnings (SEE) has been conducted since 1983. The purpose of the survey is to measure the number of wage and salary earners employed each month, and their gross quarterly earnings. Data are collected quarterly for each month in the quarter, for both the public and private sector. The key data items are published in Wage and Salary Earners, Australia (6248.0).

December Quarter 2001 will mark the last collection of the private sector component of SEE. After this date, earnings data from the private sector will be collected by the new Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys (QEWS). Employment data from the private sector will be available on an annual basis from a Labour Force Supplementary Survey.

The ABS is taking this opportunity to reassess whether the data items collected in the public sector component of the SEE collection meet user requirements and whether a separate survey collection is the most efficient way of obtaining these data. The public sector component of SEE collects data from all levels of government. These data are available by public trading enterprise, financial enterprise and general government, as a special data request.

The Public Sector SEE review will consider alternative data sources for the public sector data items, such as administrative data sources, and including the data items in another ABS survey. The review will also consider whether modifications are required to the existing survey design to accommodate the reduced target population, if a separate survey collection is considered the most efficient means of obtaining the data.

The review is intended to be completed by July 2001. It will involve extensive user consultation to ensure user needs continue to be met.

Anyone wishing to be involved in the user consultation should contact Helen Burbidge on (02) 6252 5193 or by email helen.burbidge@abs.gov.au.

The following surveys will be conducted during 2001-2002 as supplementary surveys to the Monthly Labour Force Survey. Output from these surveys is generally available 6 months after the collection of each survey.

FebruaryLabour Force ExperienceLabour Mobility
MarchEnv: Water Use and ConservationEnv: Energy Use and Conservation
AprilWork in Selected Culture/Leisure ActivitiesCrime and Safety
MayTransition from Education to WorkTransition from Education to Work
JuneCharacteristics of Small BusinessChild Care
JulyJob search Experience of Unemployed Persons/Retrenchment and Reduntancy/ Multiple JobholdersJob Search Experience of Unemployed
Persons/ Successful and Unsuccessful Job Search Experience
AugustCensus PES/ Employment Benefits and Trade Union MembershipWeekly Earnings of Employees/ Employment Benefits and Trade Union Membership
SeptemberPersons not in the Labour Force/ Underemployed WorkersPersons not in the Labour Force/ Underemployed Workers
OctoberState topicState topic
NovemberWorking ArrangementsForms of Employment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recognises the need for a range of statistics to monitor the social well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For this reason, an Indigenous Social Survey (ISS) is to be included in the ABS Household Survey Program, to be conducted in 2002 and then on a six yearly basis.

The ISS will collect information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, covering a range of areas such as culture, family and community, health, housing, work, education and income. In addition to providing measures of the social, cultural and economic well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the ISS will make it possible to monitor changes over time and enable comparisons to be made with Australia's non-Indigenous population.

ABS is undertaking an extensive consultation process to ensure a wide range of views and interests are considered in the development of the ISS. A Reference Group has been formed with representation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations, Commonwealth and State/Territory agencies, and research bodies. The role of this group is to provide advice to the ABS on the topics to be included, the relative importance of items within each topic, survey methodology and the output needs of users. An ISS Discussion Paper has been widely circulated and there was a round of Australia-wide meetings with interested users in February 2001.

As the survey develops, ABS will provide information on the outcomes of testing and seek views regarding the output products to be made available from the ISS.

For further information please contact Kevin Beere of the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics on 08 8943 2141 or email kevin.beere@abs.gov.au


The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) is due for release on 31 July 2001. ASCED has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders and replaces the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ). ASCED is comprised of two component classifications, Level of Education and Field of Education and provides a basis for comparable administrative and statistical data on educational activities and attainment classified by level and field. The publication provides details of the conceptual basis of ASCED, the structure of the classification, definitions for all categories of level and field and concordances with other education classifications.

For further information please contact Wendy Piper 02 6252 7627 or email wendy.piper@abs.gov.au.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the 2001 Victorian Year Book (113th ed.) on 7 March, 2001. The Victorian Year Book provides a comprehensive statistical overview of the economy and social conditions in Victoria.

The 2001 Issue includes a special celebratory Centenary of Federation feature article entitled 'Victoria: 100 Years since Federation'. The article has drawn on information from the ABS, Commonwealth and State Governments and a range of other organisations to provide a comprehensive statistical comparison of the economy and society of Victoria between 1901 and 2001. The publication also contains detailed statistical information about a wide range of subjects including information technology, regional and rural, natural resources and environment, health, population, education, housing, transport and the economy.

Copies of the 2001 Victorian Year Book (1301.2) are available in public libraries across Victoria. Copies are also available for purchase from the ABS Bookshop, Level 5, CGU Tower, 485 LaTrobe St, Melbourne; or by phone on 1300 135 070. Overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909.

On June 6 2001, the ABS will release Australian Social Trends 2001 (4102.0). The publication, produced annually, since 1994, presents statistical analysis and commentary on a wide range of current social issues. As in previous editions, the 30 plus articles are organised into seven chapters, representing the following areas of social concern; population, families, health, education and training, work, income and housing.

Supporting each chapter are a set of National and State and Territory summary tables, containing key social indicators which highlight social change over the past decade and also provide a means of comparing social conditions throughout Australia. A set of international tables also enable the comparison of Australian social conditions with 18 other nations.

For further information please contact Chris Mason on (02) 6252 6214 or email chris.mason@abs.gov.au.

The Occasional Paper: The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Australia - An Application Using the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns (6293.0.00.008), is expected to be released on May 1 2001. The paper provides a description of the income dynamics of families with children and an analysis of the family characteristics of children persistently in poverty. It also analyses the transitions of children into and out of poverty, relating the pattern of changes income to characteristics such as household type and economic activity of members of the household. The paper forms part of a series of occasional papers for the Survey of Employment and Unemployment Patterns (SEUP), a longitudinal survey tracking the employment (or unemployment) history of the same group of people (aged 15-64 years) over three years, from September 1994 till September 1997.

For further information please contact Anne Purtill on (02) 6252 6128 or email anne.purtill@abs.gov.au.

The ABS released the first issue the new quarterly publication Internet Activity, Australia (8153.0) on March 21 2001. The publication presents the results of a new quarterly survey of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which will help plan and track development of the online industry. The publication contains details of internet activity facilitated by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia. It includes characteristics and location of ISP customers and their Internet usage, and the nature of related telecommunications infrastructure. Broad level statistics include: the number of business and private Internet subscribers; ISP subscriber churn rate; the number and types of accounts offered by ISPs; the volume of traffic through ISPs to Internet subscribers; the number of lines providing Internet connectivity to subscribers; and, subscriber to infrastructure ratios etc.

The quarterly basis of the collection will provide indicative measures of growth/rationalisation of ISPs and the number of Australians and Australian businesses obtaining access to the Internet through ISPs. It will also facilitiate measurement of movements in the type and amount of infrastructure available to provide connectivity to the Internet.

For further information please contact Tim Power on (02) 6252 7895 or email tim.power@abs.gov.au.

Scheduled for release on July 26 2001, Illicit Drug Use, Sources of Data, Australia (4808.0) provides a comprehensive overview of sources of data measuring the impact of illicit drug use in Australia. The publication examines data available on economic, social, crime and health impacts of illicit drug use on the community. Gaps in current data collections are also identified.

For further information please contact Doylys Hartridge on (07) 3222 6236 or email doylys.hartridge@abs.gov.au.

General & Census
1140.0(2001) Directory of Electricity, Gas, Water and Sewerage Statistics FIRST ISSUE (May)
1142.0(2001) Directory of Rural Statistics (Mar)
1363.0(1999-2000) Book Publishers, Australia (May)
1369.0(Oct 2000) Occasional Paper: Australian Businesses -- A Snapshot FIRST ISSUE (May)
2901.0(2001) Census Dictionary (Apr)

3105.0.65.001(2001) Australian Historical Population Statistics -- on AUSSTATS FIRST ISSUE (Mar)
3235.2 (30 Jun 2000) Population by Age and Sex, Victoria (Jun)
3412.0(1999-2000) Migration, Australia (Mar)

Social Statistics
4103.0(Nov 2000) Population Survey Monitor FINAL ISSUE (Feb)
4160.0(1999) Measuring Social Wellbeing (Jun)
4221.0(2000) Schools, Australia (May)
4441.0(2000) Voluntary Work, Australia (Jun)
4510.0(2000) Recorded Crime, Australia (May)
4513.0(1999-2000) Higher Criminal Courts, Australia (Jun)
4517.0(2000) Prisoners in Australia FIRST ISSUE (May)

National Accounts, International Trade and Finance
5493.0(2001) Information Paper: Availability of Statistics Relating to the Regional Exports of Services, Australia. FIRST ISSUE (Jun)
5501.2(1999-2000) Local Government Finance, Victoria (Jun)
5506.0(1999-00) Taxation Revenue, Australia (Jun)
5512.0(1999-2000) Government Finance Statistics, Australia (May)
5611.0.00.001(2000) Finance Australia in Brief FIRST ISSUE (Apr)

Labour Statistics and Prices
6306.0(May 2000) Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia (Mar)
6310.0(Aug 2000) Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia (Mar)
6342.0(Nov 2000) Working Arrangements, Australia (Jun)
6361.0(Apr to Jun 2000) Employment Arrangements and Superannuation, Australia FIRST ISSUE (Mar)
6523.0(1999-2000) Income Distribution, Australia (Feb)
6537.0(1998-99) Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: the Effects of Government Benefits and Taxes on Household Income (May)

Agriculture, Environment and Mining
4604.0(1992-93 to 1997-98) Energy Accounts, Australia (Apr)
4612.0(2001) Concepts, Sources and Methods for Australia's Water and Energy Accounts FIRST ISSUE (Jun)

Secondary Industry and Distribution
8147.0(Nov 2000) Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia FINAL ISSUE (Feb)
8146.0(2000) Household Use of Information Technology, Australia (May)
8155.0(1998-99) Detailed Industry Performance, Incorporating Business Income Tax Data, Australia FIRST ISSUE (Mar)
8560.0(1999-2000) Museums, Australia FIRST ISSUE (Jun)
8562.0(1999-2000) Video Hire Outlets, Australia FIRST ISSUE (May)
8563.0(1999-2000) Botanic Gardens, Australia FIRST ISSUE (Apr)
8565.0(1999-2000) Hire Industries, Australia FIRST ISSUE (May)


VSAC is a major forum for statistical liaison between Victorian Government Agencies and the ABS. Dr Michael Kirby from the Department of Treasury and Finance chairs VSAC and is also the State representative on the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC). The following group of departmental representatives meets 2-3 times each year:

Departmental Representatives

Telephone (Melbourne 03)

Treasury and Finance

Dr Michael Kirby

9651 5543

Premier and Cabinet

Dr David Adams
9651 5264

State and Regional Development

Mr Chris West
9651 9492

Natural Resources and Environment

Mr Gary Stoneham
9637 8344

Education, Employment and Training

Michael Ryan (A/g)
9637 3238

Human Services

Mr Lance Wallace
9616 8488


Mr John Hanna
9655 6548


Mr Robert Eldridge
9651 5921


1900 986 400

Information Service
Telephone: 1300 135 070
Overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909.
Fax: 1300 135 211
email: client.services@abs.gov.au

Bookshop, Library and Information Services
Level 5
CGU Tower
485 La Trobe Street
Melbourne Vic 3001

Postal Address
GPO Box 2796Y
Melbourne Vic 3001

Assistant Director - State Government Liaison
Sophie Vassiliou
03 9615 7864

Statistics Victoria Newsletter Editors
Olivia Agius
03 9615 7590

Jackie Oddie
03 9615 7492