1100.2 - Statistics Victoria (Newsletter), Jun 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/07/2005   
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In this issue:

ABS Centenary: truth, damned truth and statistics
History in the making: ABS internet publications for free
Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum, 2 June 2005
National Data Network (NDN) is becoming a reality
National Statistical Service (NSS) Web site updates
Selected recent releases
Classification and framework issues
Other selected releases
ABS statistical training
Points of contact


ABS Centenary: truth, damned truth and statistics

The following article contains excerpts of a speech given by Dennis Trewin (Australian Statistician) on March 9, 2005 at the National Press Club.

This year ABS celebrates our centenary. We too know those jokes about statistics, and I for one shiver when hearing the tired cliche about "lies, damned lies and statistics". It implies we are purveyors of lies, which is the very opposite of what we are trying to do. Hence, the title of this talk - "Truth, damned truth and statistics".

Contrary to popular belief, in well compiled official statistics the numbers do not lie, but like all information they need to be viewed in their correct context and their quality needs to be understood. They may show certain information which may or may not gel with the perceptions of commentators. And they may not be welcomed by government because they can measure the magnitude of problems or policy failure or by oppositions because they can measure positive progress and policy success.

A vision of reliable and objective information was at the heart of why Australia's national statistical agency was created, about 100 years ago on the 8th of December 1905, with the passing of the Census and Statistics Act. The agency created in 1905 was known as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. Fifty years later, in 1956, in what is something of a rarity, the Commonwealth and State governments agreed on an integrated statistical system that served both levels of government as well as the community at large. I believe this integrated system has served Australia well and is certainly superior than the federated system that still operates in some countries.

The national office continued to operate as the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics until 1975, and for much of the period was a branch of Treasury. From all reports, this did not affect the independence of the Bureau except on the important matter of budget allocations - not surprisingly funds for economic statistics were easier to find than those for social statistics! The next major change was the transformation into an independent statutory authority known as the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1975.

ABS core values have remained constant over the years. In short they are relevance, integrity, professionalism, equality of access to ABS information, and protection of the confidentiality of information provided to the Bureau by both individuals and organisations. Another constant over 100 years has been the willingness to adopt new technology and methods to improve the way we do things. We recognise that innovation is essential if we are to move forward, and are not shy about doing that. We are generally regarded as being a world leader in the application of technology and statistical methods.

At the start of the Bureau's life, core statistics were based on the Population Census, birth, death and marriage registrars, customs records, other administrative systems, and the occasional non-random sample survey. When you compare what was done at that time with today's most important statistics you might be shocked:

  • No national accounts - quarterly national accounts did not appear until the late 1960s.
  • No balance of payments - they did not appear until the 1930s, although trade statistics have existed since the early days.
  • No Consumer Price Index. But a Retail Price Index was first compiled in 1912.
  • No monthly labour force statistics until the late 1970s.

The way we produce statistics has also changed considerably. For the 1911 Population Census hand processing was largely used. Four million records were involved. Not surprisingly, it took 3 years and a small army to produce the first results. In contrast, we expect to process the 2006 Census in less time than in 2001 (about 12 months to output). That's after an estimated eight per cent increase in population (and therefore the number of Census forms to process). Disseminating statistics has moved from publications only, and they were relatively few in number, to electronic dissemination including CD-ROM's in the mid-1980s and the Internet since the mid-1990s. If you look back 15 years, the ABS did not produce environment statistics, information technology statistics, culture and leisure statistics, or many statistics about Indigenous people except for a few Population Census based data items. More than anything else, we have to be careful that we don't lose trust - it is our comparative advantage. If we lose trust, we risk becoming just another information provider.

Graph of Victoria's population growth from 1.2 mil in 1901 to 5 mil in 2004.

History in the making: ABS internet publications for free

ABS has recently announced that the range of free data on the ABS website will be increased from 1 July 2005. ABS is moving from free "Main features" for most statistical releases to encompassing all ABS electronic publications (both PDF and HTML based content) published from 1998 onwards, along with electronic "publication tables" in spreadsheet or data-cube format which otherwise would have been included in a printed/PDF publication. In particular, electronic State/Territory "publications tables" that complement national "publication tables" are included.

The existing free and client-self-maintained email notification service, which sends an email and link out when statistical and other releases are available for downloading from the ABS web site, will be the sole remaining subscription service for standard ABS products.

The ABS@vicgov service will continue to provide ABS Publications, Time Series Spreadsheets, Data Cubes, 2001 Census data and Consultancy Container in one portal to all Victorian Public Servants. Ausstats users should note that when they use Ausstats from 1 July 2005 and need to download a new ABS publication at 11.30am, they may now access that publication via the ABS website, at <www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS@Victorian Local Government service will also continue to be available via the Department of Infrastructure extranet service to all Victorian local government staff. This valuable service remains sponsored by the Department for Victorian Communities, Local Government Branch.

Unfortunately, the ABS Library (currently 'by appointment only') will be closing permanently on 2 September 2005.

Any queries about free publications on the web and ABS@vicgov should be directed to Heather Burns by email <heather.burns@abs.gov.au>.
Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum, 2 June 2005

The second meeting of the recently constituted Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum (VSAF) was held on Friday 2 June. Mr Vin Martin, chair of VSAF and Victorian Government representative on the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC), opened the meeting by providing a verbal report on the recent ASAC meeting, held in Canberra on 31 May. Issues of discussion at ASAC included the recent review of the ABS by Allen Consulting Group, with a series of action points circulated to ASAC members for consideration. Other issues discussed included the Commonwealth budget increase in ABS funding; the move to free electronic ABS publications from 1 July; and privacy issues concerning the 2006 Census longitudinal data proposal.

Mr Joseph Salvatore, director of the ABS Victoria Statistical Coordination Branch, provided VSAF with an update of 2004/05 State Statistical Priorities (SSP) projects, and project submissions for SSP 2005/06 were tabled for members' consideration. These reports enable the ABS Victorian Office to undertake work addressing some of the important statistical gaps identified by the Victorian State Government, which have not made it on to the ABS national forward work program. Mr Mark Burford (outgoing VSAF representative from Department of Premier and Cabinet) also tabled the final report of the VSAF working group, which had been established to sort through various issues related to Growing Victoria Together (GVT) reporting.

Two representatives from Arts Victoria, Ms Judy Morton and Ms Chris Brophy, gave a presentation of current statistical research being conducted by their Policy and Research Unit. The statistical research focuses on the extent and contribution of arts in Victoria. In particular, they sought members' views in developing measures around the contribution of the arts to community building, and measures that could be used for assessing the contribution made by arts in attracting investment and migration to particular cities, towns and regions in Victoria.

The last item of discussion concerned recent analysis undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure (DoI) using the 'Journey to Work' variable from Census data. The DoI representative, Mr Philip Norman, stated that there was strong interest within the department for ABS to expand the 'journey to work' question to capture information related to journey to education and non-work destinations. As data from the expanded question would also be useful for other state government departments, interest was sought from other VSAF members to campaign for the amendment to this question on the 2011 Census form. Mr Norman will submit a proposal outline for discussion at the next VSAF in December.

Contact Antonella Caruso on Melbourne (03) 9615 7860 or email <antonella.caruso@abs.gov.au>.
National Data Network (NDN) is becoming a reality

NDN is a national platform for acquiring, sharing and integrating data relevant to policy and research in Australia. The NDN is becoming a reality in Australia. It will provide infrastructure, protocols, standards and services to support sharing, acquiring and integration of research data across Australia. The NDN is being developed to increase the availability and usability of information sources relevant to policy analysis and research: particularly key administrative and survey data sets flowing from the work of State, Local and Federal Government agencies. It has substantial potential to enlarge the range and quality of research data available for the Australian public sector and wider community.

The NDN data holdings remain controlled by the source agency, while the NDN provides a detailed catalogue of available data sources to allow users to easily search for data holdings made available to the network. A developmental version of the NDN will soon be available to advance practical understanding and refinement of the Network. The NDN is set to make a crucial contribution to research and data management in government. For more detailed information visit <www.nationaldatanetwork.org>.

Contact Neil McLean on Melbourne (03) 9615 7463, mobile 0407 057 081, or email <neil.mclean@abs.gov.au>.
National Statistical Service (NSS) Web site updates

A search portal has recently been introduced to the NSS web site. Designed as an information search facility, it enables users to search for statistics across a range of Australian and state government agency websites. Several search options are available. The default search is set to cover all agencies currently linked to the portal, and there is also the facility to restrict your search to one or more selected agencies. Over the next twelve months the facility will continue to expand the range of web sites upon which searches can be made. You can try searching some sites now at: <http://www.nss.gov.au/>.

If you would like to add your web site to the NSS collections search portal contact: Geoff de Baux on Canberra (02) 6252 5032 or email <Geoffrey.debaux@abs.gov.au>

1367.2 State and Regional Indicators, Victoria June 2005. To be released 11/8/2005.
Unemployment Rate by Victorian Labour Force Regions, May 2004 and 2005.

In the Melbourne Major Statistical Region (MSR), the unemployment rate rose from 4.9% in May 2004 to 5.1% in May 2005. Outside the Melbourne MSR, the only region which saw a rise in unemployment was Goulburn-Ovens-Murray, where the unemployment rate rose from 3.9% in May 2004 to 5.6% in May 2005. All other regions experienced falls in unemployment rate during this period. For these and other statistics on Victorian social, economic and environmental indicators see the June quarter 2005 edition of State and Regional Indicators, Victoria (cat.no. 1367.2) due to be released 11/8/2005.

Contact Neil McLean on Melbourne (03) 9615 7463 or email <neil.mclean@abs.gov.au>.

1338.1 NSW In Focus 2005. Released 10/6/2005.

If you have ever needed to find out anything about the state of New South Wales, an extensive array of statistical information is now available. Drawing on data from a range of ABS and non-ABS sources, this publication contains ten chapters with an overview of current social, economic and environmental indicators. It covers a wide range of state issues such as health, education, training, crime, justice and transport; and some selected data for regional NSW. It also includes a summary of findings for each chapter, detailing headline indicator changes over the last five years.

Contact Allan McLean on Sydney (02) 9268 4795 or email <allan.mclean@abs.gov.au>.

1383.0.55.001 Measures of Australia's Progress: Summary Indicators, 2005. Released 20/4/2005.

The ABS has released a new set of summary indicators for 2005 that looks at whether life in Australia is getting better. Available free-of-charge on the ABS web site, this publication paints a picture of national progress over the past 10 years. The ABS hopes Australians will use this information to form their own views on how our country is progressing, and encourages assessment of the bigger picture when contemplating progress. A companion publication is 1383.0.55.002 Measures of Australia's Progress: At A Glance, 2005 (released 20/04/2005). The 2005 update complements the more comprehensive indicators available in Measures of Australia's Progress (MAP) which is released every two years, with the next edition planned for 2006. Summary indicators include:
  • Health: During the past decade, Australians' health improved: boys born in 2003 were expected to live three years longer, and girls two years longer, than those born in 1993.
  • Education and training: During the past 10 years, the Australian population became more educated: between 1994 and 2004 the proportion of people aged 25-64 years with a vocational or higher education qualification rose from 44% to 58%.
  • Work: Australia's annual average unemployment rate fell from 9.5% in 1994 to 5.5% in 2004.
  • National income: Australia experienced significant real income growth during the past decade. Between 1993-94 and 2003-04, real net national disposable income per capita grew by an average annual rate of 3.1%.
  • Financial hardship: Between 1994-95 to 2002-03, the real income of low income Australians grew by 12%.
  • Natural landscape: Between 1994 and 2004, there was a rise of 39% in the identified number of threatened terrestrial birds and mammals. Much of this increase took place between 1997 and 2000.
  • Human environment: Indicators such as the incidence of fine particle pollution in several cities, suggest that Australian air quality has improved during the past decade, although forest fires near Sydney and Melbourne have obscured this trend.

Contact Melissa McCloskey on Canberra (02) 6252 5417 or email <melissa.mccloskey@abs.gov.au>.

2054.0 New Issue Australian Census Analytic Program: Australians' Ancestries, 2001. Released 12/5/2004.

This paper uses ancestry data from the 2001 Census to examine a number of issues relating to Australia’s ethnic diversity and ethnic identity. These include the generational span of different ancestry groups; regional differences in ethnic composition; ethnic intermixture; multi-ethnic families and identification of Australian ancestry. Where relevant, comparisons are made with the 1986 census ancestry data to examine changes over the 15-year period. Analysis of the ancestry response by generation and age cohorts and in combination with information on birthplace, language and religion have demonstrated the usefulness and limitations of ancestry data. There are several tables with a capital city/rest of state perspective, although data is mainly at the Australia level. Other related research is extensively cited.

Contact Siew-Ean Khoo at the Australian Centre for Population Research, Australian National University on (02) 6125 3045 or email <siewean.khoo@anu.edu.au>.

3101.0 Australian Demographic Statistics, December 2004. Released 3/6/2005.

During the December quarter 2004, Victoria's estimated resident population exceeded 5 million (5,002,258), and was 60,900 persons (1.2%) larger than a year earlier. Australia grew by 1.2% overall, and NSW 0.7% during the year. During 2003 and 2004, net overseas migration was the largest contributor to Victoria's population growth, closely followed by natural increase.

Contact Chrissy Beruldsen on Canberra (02) 6252 5640 or email <c.beruldsen@abs.gov.au>.

3107.0.55.002 Information Paper: Determining Seats in the House of Representatives - Legislative Requirements for Provision of ABS Statistics, 2005. Released 24/5/2005.

This information paper sets out current requirements under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 in respect of ABS population statistics used for determining representation in the House of Representatives. The paper also summarises ABS actions when responding to the Electoral Commissioner's formal data request for the next electoral determination due in late 2005.

Contact Patrick Corr on Canberra (02) 6252 6411 or email <patrick.corr@abs.gov.au>.

4102.0 Australian Social Trends, 2005. Released 12/07/2005.

This publication presents statistical analysis and commentary on a wide range of current social issues. Articles are organised into eight chapters, representing the following broad areas of interest: population; family and community; health; education and training; work; economic resources; and housing, as well as a chapter of articles covering other areas of social concern. Each chapter is supported by a set of summary tables including key social indicators which provide an overview of social change over the past decade, as well as how social conditions differ across Australian states and territories. A set of international tables also compares Australia with 17 other nations.

Contact Phil Browning on Canberra (02) 6252 7612 or email <phil.browning@abs.gov.au>.

4307.0.55.001 Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2003-04, Electronic delivery. Released 27/6/2005.

The quantity of pure alcohol available for consumption in Australia decreased by 0.3%, from 157.3 million litres in 2002-03 to 156.8 million litres in 2003-04. The apparent per person consumption of pure alcohol by persons aged 15 years and over decreased 1.8%, from 9.97 litres in 2002-03 to 9.79 litres in 2003-04. This was due to a decrease in alcohol consumption in the form of beer. The quantity of alcohol consumed as spirits has increased by 2%, driven largely by an increase in 'ready to drink' spirit products. This publication contains Australia level data only.

Contact Karen Connaughton on Canberra (02) 6252 5337 or email <karen.connaughton@abs.gov.au>.

4510.0 Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2004. Released 23/6/2005.

This publication presents statistics on victims of a selected range of offences which were recorded by State and Territory police in Australia from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2004. Data are also provided for individual years from 1995 onwards. State level data is presented.

The number of victims recorded by Australian police declined in most offence categories in 2004 when compared to 2003. Robbery decreased by 16% and unlawful entry with intent decreased 13%. Other offence categories to record a decrease in the number of victims included other theft (12%), motor vehicle theft (11%) and blackmail/extortion (4%). Victims of homicide and related offences decreased 19%, while victims of kidnapping/abduction increased by 11%. However, for both of these crimes, small numbers are recorded and are therefore subject to greater variation from year to year than other offence categories.

More males than females were victims of robbery (67% of victims were male), blackmail/extortion (66%), attempted murder (73%) and murder (63%). For kidnapping/abduction, more females were victims than males (69% of victims were female). In 2004, approximately two-thirds of the investigations into murder (65%), attempted murder (64%) and driving causing death (62%) had been finalised within 30 days after a victim became known to police. The lowest proportions of finalisations at 30 days were for unlawful entry with intent (8%), motor vehicle theft (11%) and other theft (14%).

Contact Marika Woodberry on Melbourne (03) 9615 7381 or email <m.woodberry@abs.gov.au>.

4512.0 Corrective Services, Australia, March 2005. Released 23/6/2005.

This publication contains national information on persons in custodial corrective services in Australia. Monthly information is presented for each state and territory. Statistics are presented by open and secure custody and periodic detention, for all prisoners and for Indigenous prisoners. Information is also presented on prisoner numbers by legal status (sentenced or unsentenced), and by sentence type. The number of sentenced receptions, the number of federal prisoners in each state and territory, information on numbers received into custody, and number of persons serving community-based corrective service orders are also included.

Contact Marika Woodberry on Melbourne (03) 9615 7601 or email <m.woodberry@abs.gov.au>.

4520.0 New Issue. Information Paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice, 2005. Released 21/6/2005.

Contains an information development plan for data relating to crime and justice. Provides a conceptual framework, identifies priority information needs, lists data currently available, identifies gaps in data and proposes strategies to fill the gaps.

Contact Terence Byrnes on Melbourne (03) 9615 7681 or email <t.byrnes@abs.gov.au>.

5249.0 Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account, 2003-04. Released 12/4/2005.

This publication presents Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) key results for 1997–98 to 2003–04. Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) represents the total market value of Australian produced goods and services consumed by visitors after deducting the cost of goods and services used in the process of production. Tourism accounted for nearly $32 billion of total GDP in 2003–04, a decline in current prices of 0.1% from 2002–03. In contrast, total GDP grew by 7.3% in current prices.

In 2003–04, the tourism industry accounted for 3.9% of GDP, which is the lowest share of GDP since the TSA was first compiled in 1997–98. This is the third consecutive decline since peaking in 2000–01. The high tourism share of GDP in 2000–01 was largely due to price increases in tourism services resulting from introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Olympic Games impact. During 2001–02 and 2002–03, external events such as terrorism and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) caused a decline in both international visitors to Australia and the willingness of Australians to travel overseas.

In 2003–04, the key factor behind the fall in tourism share of GDP was that Australians travelled less in Australia and more overseas. This is shown by the 1.7% decline in domestic tourism consumption, and total outbound expenditure by Australians travelling overseas rising 10.6%. It contains interesting data on industry sectors, but is at Australia level only.

Contact Dianne Bourke on Canberra (02) 6252 7243 or email <dianne.bourke@abs.gov.au>.

5506.0 Taxation Revenue, Australia, 2003-04. Released 19/4/2005.

A distinctive feature of the Australian federal system is that the Commonwealth government levies and collects all income tax, from individuals as well as from enterprises. It also collects a portion of other taxes, including taxes on the provision of goods and services. The revenue base of state governments consist of taxes on property, employers' payrolls, and provision and use of goods and services. The sole source of taxation revenue for local governments is taxes on property.

Total taxation revenue collected in Australia rose $19,103 million or 8.0% between 2002-03 and 2003-04. Taxes on income increased by $10,789 million, and taxes on the provision of goods and services increased $3,574 million. The publication offers good coverage at state level.

Contact Robert Bourke on Canberra (02) 6252 7589 or email <robert.bourke@abs.gov.au>.

5512.0 Government Finance Statistics, Australia, 2003-04. Released 15/4/2005.

This publication presents government finance statistics (GFS) on an accrual accounting basis for each jurisdiction for general government, non-financial public sector and total public sector as follows: operating statements for 2003-04, cash flow statements for 2003-04, and balance sheets at 30 June 2004.

Users interested in quarterly GFS data for the current financial year should consult Government Finance Statistics, Australia, Quarterly (cat. no. 5519.0.55.001). Due to space constraints, tables relating to public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations are not included. Time series data for all sectors can be accessed from AusStats (at www.abs.gov.au).

In 2003-04, the GFS net operating balance for all levels of government in Australia was $15,639 million for the general government sector, and $18,484 million for the total public sector. In the same year, GFS net lending was $10,223 million and $9,222 million for the two sectors respectively. This publication offers good coverage at state level.

Contact Robert Bourke on Canberra (02) 6252 7589 or email <robert.bourke@abs.gov.au>.

5518.0.55.001 Government Finance Statistics, Education, Australia - Electronic Delivery, 2003-04. Released 15/4/2005.

This report containts statistics on education expenditure by the general government sector for 1998-99 to 2003-04. They are presented on an accrual accounting basis and taken from the system of Government Finance Statistics (GFS). Government expenditure on education refers to all levels of education; such as pre-school, primary, secondary, university, and technical and further education (TAFE); by the general government sector. It excludes expenditure on courses provided by non-educational institutions, such as private business vocational training.

Government operating expenses on education by all levels of general government totalled $43,611m in 2003-04, $23,722m (54.4%) of which was spent on primary and secondary education and a further $16,081m (36.9%) on tertiary education (universities and TAFE). Employee expenses of $23,766m accounted for 54.5% of total educational expenses with the remaining 45.5% being on non-employee expenses ($10,283m), depreciation ($1,861m), and transfer expenses ($7,701m). This publication has Australia level data only.

Contact Robert Bourke on Canberra (02) 6252 7589 or email <robert.bourke@abs.gov.au>.

6523.0 Income Distribution, Australia, 2003-04. Released July/August 2005.

This survey was run on an 11,000 household sample, Australia wide. Details include the distribution of income in Australia, data on various household characteristics (married couple, one parent and one-person units), their composition, principal source of income, age and employment status of reference person.

Contact Justin Harvey on Canberra (02) 6252 7624 or email <justin.harvey@abs.gov.au>.

6359.0 Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2004. Released 19/5/2005.

This survey provides information on the structure and incidence of different employment arrangements, aspects of job tenure and job security. Questions were asked about employment arrangements in the main job of all employed persons, except contributing family workers. The publication presents cross-classification of different types of employment by selected employment characteristics (such as hours worked, industry and occupation) and demographic characteristics (such as age, sex and country of birth). Three tables contain state level data.

In November 2004, there were 9,641,000 persons aged 15 years and over who were employed. Of these, 60% were employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises, OMIE) with paid leave entitlements. Of the remaining employed persons:
  • 1,988,900 were employees (excluding OMIEs) without paid leave entitlements
  • 687,200 were owner managers of incorporated enterprises
  • 1,220,700 were owner managers of unincorporated enterprises.

Of the 5,744,100 employees (excluding OMIEs) with paid leave entitlements, 67% worked 35 hours or more in their main job. There were 1,988,900 employees (excluding OMIEs) without paid leave entitlements; just over three-quarters (1,512,300) of whom worked less than 35 hours in their main job, with 818,800 persons working 15 hours or less. Some 24% of employed persons worked 45 hours or more in their main job during the reference week.

Contact Labour Household Surveys on Canberra (02) 6252 7206 or email <mark.webb@abs.gov.au>.

6530.0 Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2003-04. Released July/August 2005.

Contains summary information on expenditure, income and characteristics of households. Emphasis is given to highlighting the different weekly expenditure patterns of households with various characteristics (e.g. income levels and sources, geographic location and household family composition). The survey is run on a 7,000 household sample. Detailed expenditure items and state tables are due out September 2005.

Contact Justin Harvey on Canberra (02) 6252 7624 or email <justin.harvey@abs.gov.au>.

8160.0.55.001 New Issue. Experimental Estimates, Entries and Exits of Business Entities, Australia, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04, Electronic delivery. Released 23/6/2005.

This publication summarises business entity inflow and outflow from the Australian economy, ie. entries and exits. It is based on data collected by the Australian Business Register (maintained by the Australian Taxation Office) and provided to ABS on the number and types of business entity entries and exits over a three year period. In Australia during 2003–04, there were 354,280 private sector business entity entries (entry rate of 11.2%) and 128,139 exits (exit rate of 4.1%). The largest number of entries by industry in 2003–04 occurred in property and business services (84,380). Some 91.9% of business entities which entered during 2002–03 had survived by 2003–04. The publication has 4 state level tables.

Contact Murray Klee on Canberra (02) 6252 5452 or email <murray.klee@abs.gov.au>.

8560.0 Museums, Australia, 2003-04. Released 27/5/2005.

This publication presents results from an ABS survey of organisations engaged in operating museums and art galleries. The survey was conducted in respect of the 2003–04 financial year. This is the fourth ABS survey of museums and art galleries since 1996–97. It includes: the composition of income and funding received, details of expenses incurred, characteristics of employment, and activities of museums and art galleries. A limited state dimension is also presented.

At the end of June 2004, there were 1,329 museum locations operating in Australia, comprising: 160 art museums/galleries, 381 historic properties/sites, 673 social history museums, and 116 other museum types. During 2003–04, there were 31.2 million admissions to Australia's museums. Free admissions accounted for 66.1% of all admissions, while paid admissions accounted for
33.9%. Income from paid admissions was $55.9m. These museums employed a total of 7,624 persons. During 2003–04, museums received $919.4m in income and incurred $810.3m in expenses. Just under three quarters (73.5%) of museums had a web presence in June 2004.

Contact William Milne on Melbourne (03) 9615 7862 or email <william.milne@abs.gov.au>.

8561.0 Public Libraries, Australia, 2003-04. Released 29/4/2005.

This is the third ABS survey of public libraries since 1996–97. At end of June 2004, Victorian local government had 247 library branches and 27 mobile services, which attracted 24.4 million visits during the year. These libraries employed 857 full-time, 1,129 permanent part-time, and 501 casual staff. They had a combined income of $109.7 million, and expenses of $117.7 million. There were 924 Internet workstations for public use, an average of 3 per library. Some 8.2 million items were held as lending stock, for use by 2.4 million members/registered borrowers.

Contact William Milne on Melbourne (03) 9615 7862 or email <william.milne@abs.gov.au>.

1351.0.55.002 Research Paper: Modelling languages other than English spoken in Australia from Census data, 2000-01. Released 31/3/2005.

This paper was presented to the Australian Population Association Conference, 15 - 17 September 2004. This paper presents the results of multivariate modelling analysis of non-English languages. The research aimed to construct a predictive model of languages spoken using other census responses such as ancestry, birthplace, and religious affiliation; to estimate the number of people who speak a language other than English at home in each statistical local area (SLA); and to evaluate the models and assess the feasibility of reducing the census language question.

This study finds that ancestry, birthplace and religious affiliation are reasonably good predictors of language. The predictions from the models for SLAs were reasonably accurate for most languages selected.

Contact Lujuan Chen on Canberra (02) 6252 5917 or email <lujuan.chen@abs.gov.au>.

4908.0 Information Paper: Key Issues Relating to Children and Youth, 2005. Released 6/4/2005.

This discussion paper relates to the Children and Youth Information Development Plan, and proposes a number of key policy issues for children and youth. The policy context for each issue is presented, along with the main questions to be addressed and potential data sources identified. There are eight key issues identified: four relating to children and four to youth.

Issues relating to children:
  • Early childhood and maternal health.
  • Preventing abuse and neglect of children.
  • Children and economic disadvantage.
  • Children's learning.

Issues relating to youth:
  • Educational achievement and participation.
  • Transition to employment.
  • Social participation.
  • Risk behaviours.

Contact Lesley Martin on Perth (08) 9360 5320 or email <lesley.martin@abs.gov.au>.

4909.0 Information Paper: Children and Youth Information Development Plan - Project Plan, 2005. Released 6/4/2005.

The ABS National Children and Youth Statistics Unit (NCYSU) is reviewing information on children and youth. This work is being undertaken with a view to improving the quality and quantity of data available on this population group, and facilitating access to this data.

Contact Lesley Martin on Perth (08) 9360 5320 or email <lesley.martin@abs.gov.au>.

4910.0 Information Paper: Field of Children and Youth Statistics, 2005. Released 6/4/2005.

A background paper related to the Information Development Plan project for children and youth, which discusses the field of statistics relevant to children and youth. The document introduces the various frameworks and policy contexts; discusses concepts, both historical and current, of children and youth; and statistical standards relevant to the field.

Contact Lesley Martin on Perth (08) 9360 5320 or email <lesley.martin@abs.gov.au>.

6413.0.55.001 Experimental Price Indexes for Financial Services, March 2005. Released 29/4/2005.

In September Quarter 2005, financial services will be introduced into the Consumer Price Index.

Contact Val Tot on Canberra (02) 6252 6424 or email <val.tot@abs.gov.au>.

1006.0 ABS Forward Work Program, 2005–06 to 2007–08. Released 30/5/2005.

1382.0.55.001 Building a National Statistical Agency: From the CBCS to the ABS, 1905 to 2005, brochure. Released 8/6/2005.

2060.0 Discussion Paper: Enhancing the Population Census Dataset: Developing a Longitudinal View, 2006. Released 26/4/2005.

4430.0.55.004 New Issue. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Caring in the Community, Tables 17 to 24, 2003, Electronic delivery. Released 31/5/2005.

4720.0 New Issue. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File, Technical Paper, 2002, Electronic delivery. Released 7/6/2005.

6104.0 Labour Statistics in Brief, Australia, 2005. Released 2/5/2005.

6250.0 Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Migrants, Australia, November 2004. Released 17/6/05.

6308.0 Information Paper: Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Changes to Time Series Spreadsheets, February 2005. Released 19/5/2005.

6461.0 Australian Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2005, Electronic publication. Released 23/6/2005.

People working in Victorian government agencies and local government offices should be able to access ABS publications at no cost from their desktop PCs using the ABS@ facility.

ABS@ has:

  • all ABS publications from 1998 onwards in pdf format;
  • 2001 Community Profiles at all geographic levels;
  • time series spreadsheets in Excel format; and
  • datacubes in SuperTable format (which allow users to construct tables to suit their requirements).

In local government, the council's extranet coordinator must register a person as a user. In state government agencies, access to ABS@ is through the Victorian state government intranet (or Lotus Notes in some Departments), on the index page using the research and information button; with no registration required.

For further information contact Heather Burns, Manager, ABS Information Consultancy Section on (03) 9615 7976 or email: <heather.burns@abs.gov.au>. Email is the preferred mode of contact.

ABS Victoria offers practical, informative and relevant training to help develop your statistical skills. Courses can also be tailored to suit your needs or additional programs can be developed as required.

Turning Data Into Information

This course develops skills in interpreting, displaying and communicating data clearly and effectively. Analytical thinking skills are developed to enable the transformation of data into meaningful written information.

Course Length: 2 Days
Course Date: 31st August & 1st September, 2005
Course fee: $550.00 (lunch provided)

Quality Informed Decisions

This course introduces the concept of 'wholistic quality' through the use of a data quality framework for a statistical collection. The framework ensures that users of statistics are able to assess whether the statistics are fit for their intended use. This course provides a framework to evaluate the quality of available data sources, and use this knowledge in the decision-making process.

Course Length: 1 day
Course Dates: 18th October, 2005
Course fee: $325 (lunch provided)

Basic Survey Design

This course aims to provide a broad overview of all facets of survey development. Topics include developing survey objectives, advantages and disadvantages of various collection methodologies, questionnaire design, data processing, reporting of results and management of the design process.

Course Length: 2 Days
Course Date: 29th & 30th November, 2005
Course fee: $550.00 (lunch provided)

For further information or to register, please contact Maxine McDermott on (03) 9615 7080 or email <maxine.mcdermott@abs.gov.au>.


Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum (VSAF)

VSAF is a major forum for statistical liaison between Victorian Government Agencies and ABS. The following group of departmental representatives meet 3 times each year.

Departmental Representatives

VSAF Chairperson
Department of Treasury and Finance
Vin Martin
email <Vin.Martin@dtf.vic.gov.au>

Department of Treasury and Finance
Peter Fuhrmann
email <peter.fuhrmann@dtf.vic.gov.au>

Department of Premier and Cabinet
Mark Burford
email <mark.burford@dpc.vic.gov.au>

Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
Patrick Webb
email <patrick.webb@iird.vic.gov.au>

Department of Education and Training
Ian Burrage
email <burrage.ian.n@edumail.vic.gov.au>

Department of Human Services Victoria
Dr Robert Brazenor
email <robert.brazenor@dhs.vic.gov.au>

Department of Justice
Dr Roslyn Kelleher
email <roslyn.kelleher@justice.vic.gov.au>

Department of Infrastructure
Philip Norman
email <philip.norman@doi.vic.gov.au>

Department for Victorian Communities
Dr David Adams
email <david.adams@dvc.vic.gov.au>

Joanne Duffy
email <joanne.duffy@dvc.vic.gov.au>

Department of Sustainability and Environment
John Hanna
email <john.hanna@dse.vic.gov.au>

Department of Primary Industries
Gary Stoneham
email <gary.stoneham@dpi.vic.gov.au>

ABS Victoria
Vince Lazzaro
email <tim.brennan@abs.gov.au>

Contact Points for ABS Victoria

1900 986 400 ($0.77 per minute)

National Information and Referral Service
1300 135 070
email <client.services@abs.gov.au>

By appointment: call (03) 9615 7000
Level 5, CGU Tower, 485 LaTrobe Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Postal Address
GPO Box 2796Y
Melbourne VIC 3001

ABS Website

Regional Director
ABS Victoria
Vince Lazzaro
(03) 9615 7345
email <tim.brennan@abs.gov.au>

Statistical Coordination Branch
Joseph Salvatore
(03) 9615 7924
email <joseph.salvatore@abs.gov.au>

Assistant Director
Neil McLean
(03) 9615 7463
email <neil.mclean@abs.gov.au>

Assistant Director
Antonella Caruso
(03) 9615 7860
email <antonella.caruso@abs.gov.au>

Assistant Director (a/g)
Christine Sergi
(03) 9615 7695
email <c.sergi@abs.gov.au>

Statistics Victoria Editor
Alan Page
(03) 9615 7899
email <alan.page@abs.gov.au>

Spread the news electronically

Copies of Statistics Victoria are available free for electronic dissemination. There are two ways to access an electronic copy of the newsletter:

1. Elect to receive your copy of this newsletter in PDF format by contacting Alan Page on (03) 9615-7899 or email <alan.page@abs.gov.au>. The ABS encourages further dissemination of this newsletter through email, or by its placement on your organisation's intranet.

2. Go to the ABS web site at <http.//www.abs.gov.au>. Choose 'News & Media' from the menu bar, then go to 'ABS Newsletters' and then 'Statistics Victoria'. You can access current and previous copies of Statistics Victoria, as well as many other ABS newsletters.