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As signalled in the December 2000 issue of ABStract, I have recently commenced as the Regional Director. I have worked in the ABS since 1983, in both Canberra and Melbourne, and have a broad background on both economic and social data. I look forward to meeting many of our local clients in the near future and will be seeking feedback from you on how we can better meet your statistical needs.
RECENT MAJOR ANNUAL & IRREGULAR RELEASES
(excluding regular monthly and quarterly releases)
To follow is a selection of recently released ABS products. Comprehensive release details are published in the Release Advice (1105.0) issued Tuesdays and Fridays and the monthly Publications and Products Released in [Month] (1102.0), available from the ACT Bookshop or via a subscription. And the web site provides regularly updated release information.
Regional Statistics for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Australian Capital Region (ACR)
The ACT ABS Regional Office has just released two products which provide information, at the small area level, relating to ACT and the region: Regional Statistics, ACT, 2001 and Regional Profiles, ACR, 2000. There is strong demand for annual social and economic data across Australia, at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) and the Statistical Sub-Division (SSD) level. The data are important to monitor change over time and compare and contrast the situation in different regions. This information is useful in planning, siting of infrastructure, provision of services and other related decisions.
Regional Statistics, ACT, 2001
Regional Statistics 2001 (1362.8.80.001) provides a broad range of statistics for SLAs (that is suburb level), and aggregated to SSD levels for the ACT and Queanbeyan. Statistics range from Census data to other ABS social and economic data such as estimated resident population, vitals, labour force, building approvals and schools statistics for SLAs. At SSD level a wide range of non-ABS administrative data is provided about education, hospitals, crime, labour force, social security and tax information. This product replaces the publication Regional Statistics, ACT (1362.8).
Copies of Regional Statistics, ACT, 2001 @ $24.00, will be available from the ACT ABS Bookshop (see back page for details).
Regional Profiles, ACR, 2000
Also this office has released four regional profiles for the ACR. The regions being:
The Profiles enlarge on data provided in Regional Statistics, ACT, 2001, containing more than 30 tables including some time series. Some of the topics dealt with are: population, health, families, education, employment, Indigenous populations, income and housing. Tables presenting 1986, 1991 and 1996 Census data are included. The profiles are structured in a similar way to the NSW SLA Profiles and therefore regional comparisons can be readily applied.
Both products are available electronically. For more information phone Nives Marelic (02) 6207 0315 or email email@example.com.
Census of Population and Housing 2001 Collectors' Launch
On Thursday 15 March the ACT Census Collector recruitment program got underway with a launch by Mr Brendan Symth, Deputy Chief Minister. Organisation of this operation nationally has been compared to the Sydney Olympics volunteers' campaign, although, Collectors will be remunerated. The Census will create over 500 part time jobs in the ACT and South Eastern NSW and is a huge and exciting project - one which ultimately involves the enumeration of everyone in Australia on Census night - 7 August. Census results provide us with a snapshot of Australia in terms of population numbers, age, geographical distribution and a range of other characteristics, at a particular point in time.
Users of Census statistics include government agencies at Federal, State and Territory and local levels, social service organisations, churches, educational and research organisations, businesses and individuals, both in Australia and overseas. This national project underpins our democracy, playing a major role in setting electoral boundaries, as the data provides a reliable basis to estimate the population of each State and Territory and local government area. These population estimates are used to determine the number of seats allocated to each State and Territory in the House of Representatives, and in the allocation of financial assistance grants to the States and Territories.
To ensure a complete count of the population on Census night, the ABS has developed special procedures. For example, to ensure the best possible enumeration of ethnic groups, the homeless and Indigenous communities, we will employ collectors with skills in languages other than English and collectors in remote Indigenous communities. Census Collectors deliver a Census Form and Guide to every household in their collection district prior to Census night. These forms are then collected after they have been completed on Census night. A particular challenge for us in the ACT region will be counting those people in the Snowy Mountains who are above the snow line on the night. We will be employing collectors on skis to work specifically in this area.
If you are interested in becoming a 2001 Census Collector application forms are available at Australia Post outlets. Applications close 9 April.
The National Statistical Service
The National Statistical Service (NSS) is based on the notion that a good deal of statistical information potentially available in Australia is contained in the administrative systems of government and private sector agencies. The ABS as the national statistical agency has a broader responsibility than just that of providing information from its own statistical collection processes, which represents only a small proportion of the total set of statistical information. The ABS also has responsibility for assisting these other bodies to maximise the potential of their data holdings for their own decision making, and where possible to make this information available in the public domain to assist others.
In attempting to achieve this wider aim, the ABS is seeking to develop partnerships with government and private sector agencies to assist them in:
The ABS is currently developing a strategy for strengthening partnerships that have already been developed, and for developing new partnerships. The ACT Regional Office will shortly be looking at ways of engaging ACT decision-makers in the public and private sectors in discussions as to how best to implement this service.
For more information please contact Nives Marelic phone 02 6207 0315, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directory of Statistical Sources
Production is underway of a Directory of Statistical Sources to be released on the ABS web site in May, 2001. The aim is to encourage and assist users' awareness and understanding of all statistical data sources, thereby meeting the longstanding objective of providing users with reference information on ABS statistical collections. The Directory will also contain references to non-ABS collections, which will facilitate the ABS-wide move to a National Statistical Service. It will be available as a self help service on the public access part of the web and also available to Ausstats subscribers. For example it will assist new users to identify collection sources of interest to them, and provide both them and more sophisticated users with information about data items and outputs. It will be possible to access data in three ways: by topic, by geographic level or by source organisation, and links will be provided to where data may be accessed, for example, ABS data entries will link to the relevant Main Features.
The Directory will also integrate the separate entry thematic directories already in existence on the web site in order to provide a more efficient, effective approach for users. Users should find the Directory of Statistical Sources particularly advantageous as updates will occur as ABS and non-ABS collections' changes are approved.
For more information phone Anthony Davis on 02 6252 7142 or email: email@example.com
Measuring Social Capital
The concept of social capital is receiving considerable attention in Australia and overseas. There is considerable discussion about what the term means and a range of definitions have been proposed. Social capital relates to the resources available within communities as a consequence of networks of mutual support, reciprocity, trust and obligation. It can be accumulated when people interact with each other, in families, workplaces, neighbourhoods, local associations and a range of informal and formal meeting places. It is assumed that people living in communities with high levels of social capital will have more favourable social and economic outcomes. Some agreed-on common social capital themes are:- social networks and support structures, civic and political involvement, trust in people and institutions, tolerance of diversity and altruism.
In addition, there is debate as to whether social capital should be seen as an attribute of individuals or of communities. The ABS forward work program includes developing definitions and measures of the concept of social capital for use in ABS household surveys. Work on this project has now commenced and the first milestone is consultation with the user community to identify and prioritise the gaps in data on social capital that ABS can fill, either by improving data currently collected or by collecting data on new variables. To this end a discussion paper outlining the concepts has been developed and distributed on the web site: www.abs.gov.au >> Statistics >> Papers.
For more information or a copy of the paper phone Jacqui Cristiano on 02 6252 6183 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Measuring Australia's Progress (MAP)
MAP is a new annual product that will highlight Australia's progress across three broad fronts: economic, social and environmental. The first publication, scheduled for early 2002, will be based around a small number of headline indicators (which might measure things such as GDP, unemployment, land clearance etc) with accompanying analysis. MAP will stress the interactions between progress on all fronts to try to paint a picture of life in Australia and how it is changing. It will also how examine how well placed the nation is to meet the needs of the future and draw attention to areas where we have reason to celebrate and areas where we have cause for concern.
For more information contact John Connor phone 02 6207 0244, email: email@example.com
Developments in the Collection of Indigenous Statistics
A review of the AIGC is currently being undertaken. This product was developed for the 1996 Census and the National Centre for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Statistics Unit is taking the opportunity to modify and update it and incorporate adjustments made to the standard Census geography ahead of Census 2001. The final product should be available following initial release of Census data in early 2002.
The CHINS was conducted on behalf of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) for the first time in 1999. Plans are in place for a repeat of the survey in early 2001. A user review of products from the 1999 CHINS is being conducted. Views obtained from users will be taken into account in designing the output for the next CHINS. For more information contact Kevin Beere phone: 08 8943 2141 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new Household Form for use in the Monthly Population Survey, is being phased in from April to November. It will include an Indigenous origin question for the first time, thus enabling labour force data on Indigenous persons to be collected in all twelve months of each year beginning in 2002. For more information contact Janet Wall phone 02 6207 0041 email: email@example.com
Two up-coming seminars by ABS demographers:-
A one-day course which aims to provide an understanding of the main demographic trends in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. The course covers population estimates and densities, changing propensity to identify as 'Indigenous', fertility, mortality, migration and projections of Indigenous populations. Along the way key issues associated with collecting, estimating and projecting relevant statistics are examined. It will be held at a central location and attendees will be provided with some complimentary relevant ABS published data. The cost is $380 per participant, including light lunch and is scheduled for Friday 27 April.
And this one day seminar aims to provide an understanding of the framework of demographic data and the processes which shape the population. The course covers the relationship between Census data and Estimated Resident Population data, components of population growth, population projections, estimating the population of small areas, some tools for analysing demographic data and population dynamics. This course continues to be well received and does contribute to a better understanding of ABS demographic data among a wide range of users from Commonwealth, State and Local Government bodies, business and community groups. It will be held at a central location and attendees will be provided with some complimentary relevant ABS published data. The cost is $342 per participant, including light lunch and is scheduled for June 2001 (date to be confirmed).
If you would like more information or wish to register your interest in attending either or both seminars, contact Tina Brozinic: phone 02 6207 0105, fax: 02 6207 0282, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABS' Local Government Review
ABS is conducting a review of statistical collections with Local Governments across Australia. It is expected to be completed in April 2001 and aims to investigate data collection arrangements, assess the requirements of Local Governments, improve ABS services and statistical information to local governments and assess the potential for obtaining data from council administrative systems. Organisations interested in inputting to this discussion should contact Patrick Corr (02) 9268 4705, email: email@example.com
Further details can be found on the web site: www.abs.gov.au/.
Discounted 1996 Census of Population and Housing Products
Discounts of up to 50% now apply to certain 1996 Census products including CDAT96, CDATA 96 Add-on Datapaks, Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) and most national and state level 1996 Census publications. CDATA96 provides Census data for all of Australia, from approximately 200 households to an entire state or territory with base map facility. There are 7 Add-on Datapaks which detail, for example, estimated resident population, working population, socio-economic indexes for areas and Indigenous populations.
Please contact ACT Bookshop for more information: phone 02 6207 0326, fax 02 6207 0282.
ACT Regional Office Client Services & Bookshop
The ACT Regional Office Bookshop stocks current ABS publications and many products. The public are invited to visit our Bookshop during office hours. The Bookshop is staffed by experienced client service officers who welcome the opportunity to discuss your statistical needs and provide data solutions, to suit your specific requirements. We can assist you by accessing the full range of ABS information including published statistics and ABS data available on request. The range includes industry and business, agriculture, international trade, finance, population, health, education, tourism, recreation and much more.
So pay us a visit; phone or fax and find out what we can do for you ! at the ACT Bookshop, Level 5, QBE Insurance Building, 33 Ainslie Ave, Canberra City, phone 62 007 0326, fax 6207 0282.
Integrated Regional Data Base (IRDB) 2001
The 2001 release of IRDB in April will include enhancements to software and some data updates and editions. These include improved "View data item availability" - at the click of a button the user will be able to see all the time periods and data levels available for a particular item, in spreadsheet format. Mapping and footnote functions have also been improved. New data items include Average Weekly Earnings; Local Government Area (LGA) Finance data and Estimated Resident Population data. Several series have been revised and many have been updated.
For more information or for a demonstration of this CD ROM product contact Simon Richards, phone 02 6207 0118, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia is moving two hundred and fifty metres to the north east
While most people will not feel the earth move, you may have heard about the change and may want to know what it means in relation to ABS data. This message is to let you know that the ABS is moving with the rest of Australia and will arrive towards the end of 2001. In the mid 1990s Australia's mapping agencies agreed to adopt a new Geocentric Datum for Australia (GDA94) and to implement this new model of the earth in their mapping systems by the year 2000. Implementation is slightly behind schedule, as some states have changed to the new datum while others will change this year.
The adoption of GDA94 will make Australian mapping directly compatible with the Global Positioning System (GPS) which is widely used for professional and recreational navigation. It will mean, however, that the coordinates or latitudes and longitudes of all Australian mapping will change by about 250 metres to the north east. Some states have already made the change and the ABS has recently received some digital mapping from various agencies on the GDA94 datum.
All ABS spatial data such as the Master Spatial Database, used for Census Collection District (CD) design and mapping, and the Reduced Output Spatial Database (ROSD), used in CDATA 96, are currently on the old datum (AGD66). All ABS digital boundary files (CD, SLA, etc) are also on the old datum. The implementation strategy is to convert the MSD to the new datum during 2001 and to make all 2001 Census output products GDA compliant. So while all ABS spatial data is currently AGD66 datum, 2001 Census output products including CDATA topography and boundaries will be GDA compliant. Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2001 Edition boundaries will be GDA compliant; and a new version of ASGC 1996 Edition boundaries will also be created on GDA datum so that they can be directly overlaid with 2001 boundaries.
For more information contact Jenny Hawkins phone 02 6252, 67214, email: email@example.com or Steve Smith phone 02 6252 6824, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(excluding monthly and quarterly releases)
This listing shows those ABS publications expected to be released over the coming quarter, the expected month of release is shown in brackets.
These documents will be presented in a new window.