1344.8.55.002 - ABStract, Statistics News, Australian Capital Territory, Nov 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/11/2003   
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A Message from the Regional Director
ACT Whole of Government Information Development Plan
Training and Seminars
ACT in Focus
National Regional Profile on ABS Website in Early 2004
ACT Statistical Indicators
The ABS Subscription Service is Changing
CDATA 2001 - Your Census at Work
2002-2101 Population Projections, Australia
Sexual Assault Information Development Framework
Dictionary of Standards for Education and Training Statistics Version 1
Ageing in Australia
Expected Major Annual and Irregular Releases
Entry Points to the ABS ACT Office


Welcome to the final issue of ABStract for 2003. Another busy year is rapidly passing, and it is worthwhile reflecting on some of our directions over 2003 and intended directions into 2004.

As mentioned previously, and covered again in this issue, the ABS has been focussing on developing information management plans (referred to as Information Development Plans or IDPs) in partnership with the ACT Government. Following from the IDP completed for the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services in May this year, a whole of ACT Government plan is underway and more IDPs are on the drawing board.

A key direction which has gained momentum this year has been the provision of training in the understanding, use and management of statistics. The introductory course, Turning Data into Information, has been popular, as have courses on specific data such as demography and census. More in depth courses, such as, Making Quality Informed Decisions, are in the process of being launched. More detail on these training courses are contained in this issue.

We have also been exploring ways to make our data more accessible, including putting more useable and relevant summaries of information on the web, some free of charge. Stay tuned for more information.

Finally, make sure you get a copy of the definitive overview of the ACT and region, ACT in Focus 2003. Details on this 200+ page publication are contained within.

Tracy Stewart Regional Director,

ACT Office,
Australian Bureau of Statistics

Following on from the success of the Information Development Plan undertaken with the Department of Disability Housing and Community Services, ACT Government Chief Executive Officers agreed on the 24 July 2003 for the ABS to undertake and assist the in the production of an Information Development Plan covering the whole of ACT Government.

Initial consultations have commenced with the objective to have consultations with Departments finalised by January 2004.

The production of the plan will form a significant component of the ACT Government’s move to evidenced based policy research. The ACT office of the ABS will assist in the development of the plan by reviewing whole of Government information issues and identifying any significant statistical data gaps or overlaps that may be required in the formulation of policy.

While the primary focus of the development of the plan is on improving the quality, coverage and use of statistics, the consultations to develop the Plan may also assist Departments to identify related improvements, such as in data management, contract management, and research and analysis.

Production and approval of the plan is expected to be completed by the end of March 2004.

What will the plan provide?

The Plan will provide
  • a map of significant statistical information available across the whole of ACT Government and identify work planned or underway to improve data resources for use by the ACT Government.
  • a set of priorities and recommendations designed to improve the quality, coverage and use of information in the ACT.

The Plan will inform resource decisions for data improvement by providing
  • a clear picture of data needs against major policy and reporting needs and
  • how these information needs could be addressed.

A focus of the Plan will be on better using existing data rather than additional collections
  • recognising that there is much data that is not used adequately, or even known about, and
  • there should firstly be a focus on better understanding and analysis of existing data, and increasing skills and capacity to do this.

For more information please contact Alan Masters at alan.masters@abs.gov.au

Seminar - Australian Social Trends

The ABS invites you to attend the Australian Social Trends Seminar. This seminar is designed to give an overview of Australian society and how it is changing over time. It covers:
  • Latest data
  • International perspective
  • State trends
  • Historical context

Key trends and issues will be highlighted with examples from articles in recent editions of the ABS publication Australian Social Trends. While the Australian Social Trends publication has a strong national focus, the seminars will highlight trends in the ACT where possible. This years seminars will also focus on issues for regional Australia. Seminars will last about one hour with an additional 30 minutes for questions and discussion. Handouts will be available. Morning tea will be provided after the seminar.

The seminar will be presented by Marelle Rawson. Marelle is Director of Social Analysis and Reporting Section and an editor of Australian Social Trends. Marelle has worked in the ABS for 12 years across a range of areas including household income and expenditure, welfare and health statistics. As Director of the Health Section for five years, Marelle was responsible for the 1995 and 2001 National Health Surveys, as well as the Nutrition and Mental Health & Wellbeing surveys. Marelle came to the ABS from the University of Canberra, where she lectured in statistics.

The seminar will be held at Waldorf On London, 2 Akuna St Canberra City on Tuesday 9 December 2003, 10:00am - 11:30am. Morning tea will be served. The cost is $80 per person (including GST).

Statistical Training Opportunity - Making Quality Informed Decisions

The Making Quality Informed Decisions course explores how to assess the quality of data sources used in making decisions. It introduces the concept of overall quality through the use of a data quality framework. The framework ensures that users of statistics are able to assess whether the statistics are fit for their intended use.

People who use statistics in decision-making and who want to understand how to evaluate the appropriateness of a particular statistical collection should attend this course. This course will also benefit people involved in producing statistics and who want to ensure that these statistics are used appropriately.

Course benefits include:
  • the ability to set up a quality framework
  • understanding risk management in making statistical decisions
  • learning how to assess datasets in context of data need
  • using information on data quality to make better informed decisions.

This two day course will be held at Waldorf On London, Canberra City on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 November 2003. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. The cost is $600 per person (including GST).

For further details or to book, please contact Victoria Allen on (02) 6207 0277 or victoria.allen@abs.gov.au

ACT in Focus (cat. no. 1307.8) is an annual publication produced by the ACT Regional Office. The 2003 issue is due for release on November 10 2003.

The publication presents the latest data description of the social, demographic and economic structure of the ACT by drawing on a wide range of statistics compiled by the ABS and other organisations.

It provides a detailed statistical review of important and interesting aspects of life in the ACT. It includes information on the environment, government, economy, people, education, labour market, business, housing, tourism, the Australian Capital Region and more.

The 2003 edition also includes a feature article on Bushfires in the ACT. The article includes details of the most recent bushfires in the ACT as well as past ACT fires. Also included is information relating to aspects such as financial costs and damage done and comparing the recent ACT bushfires with other natural disasters around Australia.

ACT in Focus 2003 is a must for those who want topical and relevant facts about the ACT and surrounding area at their fingertips.

For more information please contact Fiona Wellsmore on (02) 6205 0032 or fiona.wellsmore@abs.gov.au

In line with improving the breadth and quality of small area data available for policy evaluation and other community decision-making purposes, the Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre in South Australia has been working on a project to improve the visibility and coherence of regional data on the ABS web site.

This project being developed is the National Regional Profile (NRP).

This profile will contain a suite of key indicators at Statistical Local Area and Local Government Area level for all of Australia. The NRP will enable consistent quantitative measurement, evaluation and comparison of the performance of regions.

Initially the NRP will contain indicators that are readily available on a nationally comparable basis. These include demographic variables such as estimated resident population, births, deaths, economic indicators such as unemployment, wage and salary income data, building approvals and value of agricultural production. In addition there are some social data items including Centrelink benefit recipient numbers. Issues related to data availability, quality, consistency and comparability have been considered and it is anticipated that, over time, this suite of indicators will grow.

The NRP will be available from the web site, initially in a fixed format report, with the area of choice being selected using drill-down map style functionality.

The NRP is expected to be available in early 2004.

For more information please contact Antony Perera on (02) 6207 0315 or antony.perera@abs.gov.au

The September quarter of ACT Statistical Indicators (cat. no. 1367.8) was released on 31 October, 2003. This issue featured an article on drugs in the ACT which looked at statistics relating to drug issues including use and treatment. Issues such as smoking and alcohol were also covered in this feature article. There are a number of interesting data to come out of this article including:
  • In the 2000-01 financial year there were 11 reported ecstasy seizures, which increased by 364% to 51 seizures in 2001-02.
  • 27% of females and 22% of males in the 18-24 year old age group are smokers
  • compared with other states and territories the ACT has the lowest proportion of smokers (19%)
  • the ACT also has the highest proportion of ex-smokers
  • more people in the ACT use ecstasy and designer drugs
  • the overall number of drug offences in the ACT is decreasing
  • in the ACT the highest proportion of clients seeking treatment for drugs are heroin users
  • there were 11 prisoners sentenced in the ACT for drug offences in 2001.

ACT Statistical Indicators also publishes a range of indicators to give clear picture of the ACT. These indicators include demography, labour force, prices, building and construction, crime and justice, finance, retail, economy, transport and climate.

The June quarterly issue of ACT Statistical Indicators was released on 29 July 2003, presented two very insightful feature articles relating to life in the ACT.

The first article entitled Child Care in the ACT, gave a comprehensive summary of the quantity and types of child care used in the ACT. Some interesting facts highlighted in this article included:
  • 55% of ACT children aged 12 years or younger used some type of child-care
  • 26% of 6-8 year old children used informal child-care only
  • more than one third of children in the ACT used formal child-care
  • long day care was the most common type of formal care used by ACT children (12%)
  • 16% of all children in the ACT were looked after by grandparents.

The child care article draws from several sources including the Child Care Survey which was conducted Australia wide in June 2002 as part of the national Labour Force Survey. This article also looks at the definitions of formal and informal care and the association between work arrangements and child care.

ACT Statistical Indicators, June quarter, also presented a feature article on ACT Households’ Management of Environmental Issues.

This article provided a detailed look at the way in which ACT households manage energy and environmental resources. As well as discussing statistics relating to the various types of energy we use, this article also looks at such things as home insulation, window treatments and household appliance use.

Some interesting facts in the article included:
  • Greenpower and solar energy were used in very few households, although the number was increasing
  • there was an increase in the number of ACT households connected to gas
  • 80% of ACT houses had some form of insulation in 2002
  • there has been a significant increase in the number of homes using dishwashers, while the use of separate freezers has declined.

The June quarter issue of ACT Statistical Indicators would be valuable to anyone interested in the topics covered in these features articles.

For more information please contact Fiona Wellsmore on (02) 6205 0032 or fiona.wellsmore@abs.gov.au

Purchase the September issue of ASI for $26.00 or
both June and September issues for ONLY $40.00.

From 1 January 2004, the ABS will be making some changes to its subscription service. This is in line with the increasing demand by clients for electronic publications from the ABS, including acquisition via e-commerce on our web site. To coincide with these changes, a broader range of products will become available via e-commerce and a free email notification service will allow you to receive regular updates about releases of interest to you. We will also continue to release free information such as main findings from many ABS surveys and other summary data on our web site.

The major changes are:
  • Not all publications will be available in printed format. Many future releases will be in electronic format only. Printed publications will include most key economic indicator publications. Titles such as the Year Book, Social Trends and the like will continue as they are now. A complete list will be available in October/November this year and will be sent out together with subscription renewal notices.
  • The ABS subscription service will be limited to publications released in printed format only. However, you will also have the option of choosing electronic delivery (Adobe Acrobat .PDF files) for publications available on subscription.
  • Rolling subscriptions will be introduced. This means that subscriptions will no longer be strictly calendar year based. New subscription orders will commence from the date an order is placed and be subject to annual renewal after 12 months. Current subscriptions will continue unchanged until December 2003.
  • Most electronic-only releases on the ABS web site will be available for purchase on an ad hoc basis from the ABS web site. A print-on-demand service will also be offered for publications (in .PDF format) released only on the web site.

Your options for accessing ABS releases with effect from 1 January 2004 are:
  • Contact our subscription services centre on 1300 366 323 for an ongoing subscription to selected printed releases.
  • Subscribe to our free email notification service to keep up to date with releases in your selected product groups. Notifications include links to main features or catalogue entries on the ABS web site. You may purchase and download associated releases as required.
  • Purchase individual titles via the ABS web site or phone order on 1300 135 070.

For further information on the new subscription service contact 1300 366 323 or subscriptions@abs.gov.au

CDATA 2001 is a desktop software package jointly developed by MapInfo Australia and the ABS. It combines data from the 2001 Census with mapping software from MapInfo.

CDATA 2001 allows access to a vast amount of data about Australian communities from the 2001 Census. With CDATA 2001, you can perform extensive analysis and view the data in the form of thematic maps, graphs or reports.

CDATA 2001 satisfies a wide range of user requirements with different levels of functionality and flexible pricing. You need only purchase the data you require, with the option of purchasing Australia as a whole or just individual states or territories. In response to extensive consultation conducted prior to development, there are two product options available. These options are:
  • CDATA 2001 - Full GIS
  • CDATA 2001 - Quickbuild

CDATA 2001 - Full GIS contains MapInfo Professional as the mapping engine, which allows advanced mapping functionality. CDATA 2001 - Full GIS also allows the importing of external data and detailed data manipulation and analysis using the Structured Query Language (SQL).

CDATA 2001 - Quickbuild contains simplified mapping functionality, enabling even inexperienced and intermediate users to quickly and easily select data and build maps, tables and graphs.

A range of Add-On Datapacks for CDATA 2001 are available as individual modules. These Add-On Datapacks add value and flexibility to CDATA 2001 and enable more detailed research and analysis . The following Add-On Datapacks are available for CDATA 2001:
  • Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)
  • Estimated Resident Population
  • Expanded Community Profile
  • Indigenous Profile
  • Usual Residents Profile
  • Working Population Profile
  • Detailed Base Map Data

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

SEIFA 2001 takes information on issues such as income, education and occupation from the 2001 Census and summarises them into a series of indexes that allow you to investigate the socio-economic wellbeing of particular areas.

Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

The Estimated Resident Population Add-On Datapack includes ERP counts for each Statistical Local Area (SLA) by five year age group and sex as at 30 June 1996 and 2001. This data is a useful resource for a wide range of commercial and government analysis.

Expanded Community Profile

The Expanded Community Profile (XCP) contains much more detailed information about an areas characteristics. It offers information that is cross-classified with more variables and that contains more categories within classifications.

Indigenous Profile

The Indigenous Profile (IP) provides key census information relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, families and dwellings. Some tables provide comparisons with the non-Indigenous population.

Usual Residents Profile

Like other profiles, this Add-On Datapack contains key demographic data relating to people, families and dwellings. However, the information is based on where people usually live, rather than where they were counted on Census night.

Working Population Profile

The Working Population Profile (WPP) includes a range of information about the people working in a particular area, including industry of employment, income, hours worked, and method of travel to work.

Detailed Base Map

The standard CDATA 2001 contains Basic Base Map data comprising highways, major roads and rivers, localities and railway lines. The Detailed Base Map Add-On Datapack greatly adds to the functionality of CDATA 2001 by including features such as post offices, schools, hospitals and more.

For more information please contact Gordon Knox on (02) 6207 0484 or gordon.knox@abs.gov.au

On the 2 September 2003 the ABS released the 2002-2101 population projections for Australia (cat. no. 3222.0) and the 2002-2051 population projections for the states and territories, capital city and balance of state. These projections were released in Population Projections, Australia (cat. no. 3222.0) publication and in Australian and capital city/balance of state datacubes.

The ABS used the cohort-component method for these projections, which requires various assumptions to be made on future levels of fertility, mortality, overseas migration and interstate migration. This method begins with a base population, by sex and by single years of age, and advances it year by year by applying these assumptions. These assumptions are formulated on the basis of past demographic trends, both in Australia and overseas.

The projections show that Australia’s total population will increase from 19.7 million in 2002 to between 23 million and 31 million by 2051, and between 19 million and 38 million by 2101. The growth of Australia’s population is projected to slow down during the next 50 years, from 1% per year during the first ten years of the projection period to 0.2% per year between 2041 and 2051. The population of the ACT will grow from 321,800 in June 2002 to between 389,600 and 538,000 in 2051. Over the period of the projections it is expected that the rate of population growth in the ACT will decline steadily.

The population of the ACT will continue to age, as will Australia’s population as a whole. The median age of the population (the age at which half the population is younger and half older) is projected to increase from 33.5 years at June 2002 to between 42.2 years and 47.1 years in 2051.

The proportion of the population aged under 15 years is projected to fall from 20% at June 2002 to between 12% and 16% by 2051. The population aged 15–64 years, which encompasses most of the working-age population, is projected to decline as a proportion of the total population, from 71% in 2002 to between 60% and 62% in 2051. The population aged 65 years and over will increase from 9% at June 2002 to between 24% and 27% in 2051. The proportion of the population aged 85 years and over will increase from 1% of the population at June 2002 to between 5% and 7% in 2051. This age group will experience the highest growth rate of any age groups.

For more information please contact Katrina Phelan on (02) 6252 6573 or katrina.phelan@abs.gov.au

An ABS Information Paper, Sexual Assault Information Development Framework (cat. no. 4518.0) was released on 12 August 2003.

The Information Development Framework (IDF) development process involved extensive consultation with a range of commonwealth, state and territory agencies, and with various non-government bodies. Their assistance is gratefully acknowledged. Funding and valuable support for this project was provided by the Office of the Status of Women as part of the National Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault.

The IDF aims to help users of statistics to improve their understanding of the data and related issues in the area of sexual assault. The Framework identifies the various requirements for sexual assault data, and reviews currently available data in order to identify the gaps that exist in national data on sexual assault. A number of conclusions are reached about addressing priority information development needs through the development of strategies to produce more uniform data from existing sources, as well as to inform future collection processes.

Importantly, the publication also brings together information about a number of currently available sexual assault data sources. Some of these sources are existing ABS collections and approximately 60 non-ABS sources are included.

The IDF presents a conceptual framework for sexual assault, for research and analysis of data in this area of concern. Elements of the framework, for which current and potential data sources are identified, include:
  • the context of sexual assault
  • actual and perceived risk
  • the characteristics of incidents
  • the responses made
  • information on the impacts and outcomes of sexual assault.

The holistic view of sexual assault taken in this framework includes responses provided by the health system, the community services system, the criminal justice system and other specialist services against sexual violence.

The IDF will facilitate:
  • a long-term analysis of sexual assault as a social problem
  • an assessment of how the various support, police and legal services are responding to sexual assault
  • a more accurate view of service effectiveness that will better inform the ongoing development of appropriate programs and services
  • the capacity to measure changes in sexual assault patterns over time.

A key part of the IDF is the proposal of strategies with regard to the tracking of sexual assault data over time. Specifically, this will include tracking trends in reporting, the nature of incidents, and the characteristics of victims and perpetrators.

While it is acknowledged that ‘perfect’ recording of the incidence and nature of sexual assault will never be possible, the IDF is a valuable resource for informing a broad-based, long-term perspective on the needs for and uses of sexual assault data.

The IDF provides a benchmark from which to move forward and will be used as a tool for the development and management of information needed for research, policy development and service delivery in relation to sexual assault. Further collaboration in information development, as proposed in the IDF, is an important step in improving what is known about the prevalence and nature of sexual assault.

The IDF is available on the ABS web site.

For further information please contact Lyn Tucker on (03) 9615 7883 or crime.justice@abs.gov.au

A Dictionary of Standards for Education and Training Statistics is being developed by the National Centre for Education and Training Statistics (within the ABS). The dictionary is being funded by the National Education and Training Statistics Unit Management Board which is comprised of ABS, Department of Education, Science and Training, Australian National Training Authority and all state and territory education and training departments.

It is intended that the dictionary will improve the comparability of education and training statistics in Australia. Version 1 of the Dictionary will contain approximately 20 data elements including demographic, cultural and language, education, and geographic location data elements.

It is planned to circulate a draft Dictionary for comment in early 2004. Version 1 of the Dictionary should be finalised and available on the ABS Web site in mid 2005.

For more information please contact Wendi Johnson on (02) 6252 7552 or wendi.johnson@abs.gov.au

The National Ageing Statistics Unit has prepared a publication called Census of Population and Housing: Ageing in Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 2048.0) which was released on 13 October 2003.

This publication analyses the characteristics of the older population drawing on 2001 census data. While a major focus is on the number and characteristics of older Australians, that is, persons aged 65 years and over, it also explores the ageing process in Australia as well as examining trends over time.

Information is organised into seven chapters, by major areas of social concern: population; cultural diversity; living arrangements; work and economic environment; transport; education; and technology. Data are mainly presented at a national level, but this report also includes some tables, charts and maps at a more detailed geographic level, down to Statistical Local Area.

For more information please contact Wendy Cooper on (07) 3222 6061 or wendy.cooper@abs.gov.au






Year Book Australia, 2004 (January)

Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2003 (November)

Australia at a Glance, 2004 (January)

Australian Capital Territory at a Glance, 2003 (November)

Information Paper: Measuring Social Capital - An Australian Framework and Indicators, 2003 (December)






Australian Census Analytic Program: Counting the Homeless, 2001 (November)

Australian Census Analytical Program: Caring Labour in Australia’s Community Services, 2001 (November)

Australian Census Analytic Program:Australia’s Most Recent Immigrants, 2001 (November)

Australian Census Analytic Program: Ethnic Diversity, Ethnic Intermixture and the Development of “Australian Ancestry”, 2001 (November)

Australian Census Analytical Program: Australia Online: How Australians Are Using Computers and the Internet, 2001 (November)

Census of Population and Housing: Australia’s Youth, 2001 (December)






Information Paper: Suicides, Australia, 2002 (November)

General Social Survey, Australian Capital Territory, 2002 (November)

Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australian Capital Territory, August 2001 (November)

Indigenous Social Survey, 2002 (December)

National Health Survey: Mental Health, Australia, 2001 (November)

Health Risk Factors, Australia, 2001 (November)

Environmental Issues: People’s Views and Practices, March 2003 (November)


Information Paper: Introduction of Concurrent Seasonal Adjustment into Labour Force Series, 2003 (December)

Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Standard Errors, 2003 (December)

This listing shows a selection of ABS publications expected to be released over the coming quarter. The expected month of release is shown in brackets. Release dates may vary from those shown. Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0) which is available from any ABS office or on this site. This site also provides daily release information.

Office Hours: 9am to 4.30pm Mon to Fri Level 5
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WEB SITE:www.abs.gov.au
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Regional Director: Tracy Stewart
Assistant Director: Alan Masters
Project and Information Manager: Gordon Knox
Project and Information Manager: Antony Perera
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