1344.8.55.002 - ABStract, Statistics News, Australian Capital Territory, Mar 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/03/2005   
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A Message from the Regional Director
ACT and Region ... A Statistical Atlas - release in April
2005 Year Book Now Available
Survey Design and Statistical Products
Recent Analysis of Women's Employment in Urban, Rural and Regional Australia
Improvements in Regional Labour Force Data
Australian Historical Population Statistics 2004
Changes to Overseas Arrivals and Departures Release Format
Census 2006
Proposed Output Strategy for 2006 Census of Population and Housing
Survey of Motor Vehicle Use Fitness for Purpose Review
Motor Vehicle Census
Survey of Motor Vehicle Use
Water Use On Australian Farms
Expected Major Annual and Irregular Releases
Entry Points to the ABS ACT Office


Welcome to the first issue of ABStract for 2005. This is a special year for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and its predecessor, the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (CBCS) as we celebrate 100 years of providing a statistical service to the Australian, state and territory governments and to the Australian community.

The Hon. Chris Pearce MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer officially launched the 2005 Year Book Australia (cat. no 1301.0) at ABS House on the 21 January 2005. This is the 87th edition of the year book and contains a wealth of information and data on Australia and a number of special reports that mark the centenary of the national statistical service. More details on the year book and its launch are contained within this issue.

A reminder that at the beginning of September 2004, ACT in Focus 2004, (cat. no. 1307.8) was released. This publication is the year book for the ACT and region and covers every facet of life in the ACT. Both 2005 Year Book Australia and ACT in Focus 2004 are available from the bookshop. Contact details are at the end of this newsletter.

A number of clients may be interested in Information paper: An Introductory Course on Time Series Analysis - Electronic Delivery (cat. no. 1346.0.55.001) that was released on 28 January 2005 and is available from the ABS web site.The course notes describe some of the issues that are relevant to time series analysis in the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Included is an introduction to some of the theory underlying time series analysis, a discussion of different seasonal adjustment philosophies and issues relating to seasonal adjustment. The course notes concentrate on the filter based approach to seasonal adjustment as this is the method most commonly applied in the ABS.

Finally, after four years as Regional Director for the ACT, Tracy Stewart has been seconded back to ABS Central Office. The Regional Office staff wish Tracy all the best in her new position and wish her well for the future.

Alan Masters
A/g. Regional Director, ACT
Australian Bureau of Statistics


In line with improving the breadth and quality of small area data available for policy evaluation and other community decision-making purposes in Canberra and surrounding region, the ACT Regional office will be releasing it's second issue of ACT and Region . . . A Statistical Atlas (cat. no. 1381.8) in  April 2005.

This hard copy publication with colour maps illustrating a range of social characteristics of Canberra and the surrounding region is designed to complement Canberra . . . A Social Atlas (cat. no. 2030.8), produced every five years following release of results from the Census of Population and Housing. ACT and Region . . . A Statistical Atlas is produced in each of the four years between the Social Atlas releases.

ACT and Region . . . A Statistical Atlas presents two maps on each topic. The first provides a comparison between suburbs (statistical local areas) of Canberra. The second provides a comparison between the statistical local areas (SLAs) in the region and the ACT. The SLAs included in the region are Queanbeyan, Yarrowlumla Part A, Boorowa, Crookwell, Goulburn, Gunning, Harden, Mulwaree, Tallaganda, Yarralumla Part B, Yass, Young, Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Bombala, Cooma-Monaro, Snowy River and Tumut. On February 11 2004, seven new councils surrounding the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) were proclaimed. These new councils changed the local government area (LGA) boundaries, with many previous councils amalgamating to become the new LGAs. At this present time, there is no data relating to these new boundaries and therefore the data in this publication relates to the old boundaries of the Australian Capital Region (ACR).

The Atlas contains a selected range of maps around several themes. The themes for the 2005 edition are welfare, health and transport - twelve maps are included, on the topics of:

1 SEIFA - index of economic resources 2001

2    SEIFA - index of education and occupation 2001

3    Age pension - number of people receiving the age pension at June 2003

4    Age pension - proportion of people receiving the age pension at June 2003

5    Disability support pension - number of people receiving the disability support pension at June 2003

6    Disability support pension - proportion of people receiving the disability support pension at June 2003

7    Indirect standardised death rate - rate over three years 2001 to 2003

8    Hospital separations - number of hospital separations 2002-03

9    Hospital separations - rate per 1,000 residents: 2002-03

10 Passenger motor vehicles - number of private used passenger vehicles on register at 30 June 2003

11   Passenger motor vehicles - private passenger vehicles on register at 30 June 2003, per 1,000 resident population

12   Total number of sales of new motor vehicles 2002-03

To place an order for this publication or for more information please contact Antony Perera on (02) 6207 0315 or antony.perera@abs.gov.au


2005 Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) is now available. The latest national snapshot by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) presents a series of fascinating comparisons to the Australia of 100 years ago.

The 87th edition of Year Book Australia, launched in Canberra on 21 January 2005 by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Honourable Chris Pearce MP, contains a comprehensive and detailed statistical review of aspects of the economy and social conditions in Australia.

Its publication this year is part of the Centenary celebrations of the ABS. ‘Through the Year Book, we can gain an insight into what life was like for our forebears or our more recent families at any stage of those 100 years’, said Mr Pearce. ‘Year Book Australia is a marvellous window into our history, our present and our future, through its presentation of hard facts linked to analysis and trends’. ‘Of special interest, for example, is a remarkable graph on page 97 which illustrates very clearly how different the age structure of our nation is today, compared with a century ago’.

‘In those days the numbers of people in age groups over 45 shrank noticeably until there were very few indeed over 75. Today’s comparable distribution by age show much healthier numbers in the middle years and considerably more people still alive beyond 85’.

‘Interestingly, the proportion of Australians born overseas has not changed much over this time. However, 100 years ago migrants mostly came from the United Kingdom and Ireland whereas today the mixture is much more diverse and Australia’s culture has been enriched as a result’.

Mr Pearce noted that the first Official Year Book of the Commonwealth was published in 1908, although individual Australian States and colonies had been producing year books for several decades previously.

For more information please contact the Bookshop on 6207 0326 or go to www.abs.gov.au


Do you need help with designing or conducting a collection or using statistical products? If so then the handbook of the National Statistical Service (NSS) may help.

This handbook outlines the issues that need to be addressed when you are:

  • conducting a statistical collection
  • extracting data from administrative systems
  • managing statistical data
  • turning administrative or survey data into statistics and their subsequent analysis.

This handbook is a reference guide, providing a broad overview of the statistical process. Each chapter introduces a different aspect of the statistical cycle.

The handbook also includes:

  • appropriate references to more advanced sources of information
  • appendices that provide further information
  • a glossary to explain terms that are used.

The handbook is broken into the following chapters and appendices:


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Initiating the Statistical Activity

Chapter 3 - Designing the Statistical Activity

Chapter 4 - Data Collection and Data Extraction

Chapter 5 - Data Processing

Chapter 6 - Statistical Analysis and Interpretation

Chapter 7 - Dissemination of Statistics

Chapter 8 - Evaluating the Statistical Activity


Appendix 1 - Phases of the Statistical Cycle

Appendix 2 - Data Management

Appendix 3 - Standards and Classifications

Appendix 4 - Confidentiality and Privacy

Appendix 5 - Information Development Plans

Appendix 6 - Statistical Skills

Appendix 7 - Quality Declaration and Assessment

Appendix 8 - Project Management


For more information please contact Rex Porter on (08) 8237 7416 or rex.porter@abs.gov.au


Perspectives on Regional Australia - Women's Employment in Urban, Rural and Regional Australia (cat. no. 1380.0.55.001) was recently released using information from the 2001 Census. It helps to assist in the comparison of patterns of women's employment across selected regions of Australia.

For the purposes of this analysis, the following geographic categories were used to compare women's employment patterns in urban and rural areas:

  • Major urban - urban centres with a population exceeding 100,000 persons
  • Medium townships-towns and urban centres with a population in the range of 20,000 to 99,999 persons
  • Small townships - towns and urban centres with a population in the range of 1,000 to 19,999 persons
  • Rural areas - the remainder of Australia which includes towns with a population in the range 200 to 999 persons.

The major results:
  • Women in Major urban areas are more likely to have higher educational qualifications, have the highest labour force participation rate, are least likely to be self-employed, and are less likely to be working part-time
  • Women in Rural areas are least likely to be unemployed, and most likely to be self-employed, with almost half working in agriculture.

For more information please contact Mark Nowosilskyj on (08) 8237 7358 or mark.now@abs.gov.au

The ABS has recently improved the quality of regional estimates of labour force status (numbers employed, numbers unemployed, total labour force, unemployment rate).

Regional estimates of labour force status are available on a monthly basis for 77 Labour Force Survey (LFS) regions. The LFS regions were established to meet user interest for small area data from the Labour Force Survey, and data for these regions is available back to October 1982.

LFS estimates of employed, unemployed and not in the labour force are calculated to add up to independent estimates (or benchmarks) of the usually resident civilian population aged 15 years and over.

Before the February 2004 survey, population benchmarks in the LFS were classified by state/territory of usual residence, capital city/rest of state, age and sex. In addition to these benchmarks, from February 2004 the Labour Force Survey uses population benchmarks for LFS regions by sex. LFS estimates at the region level were revised back to January 1999 with the release of the February 2004 data. This has improved the quality of estimates for LFS regions, without compromising the quality of the estimates at national, state and territory levels.

Maps of the LFS regions are available and can be accessed from the Labour Theme Page on the ABS Website.

Government and other organisations use labour market data for LFS regions to monitor the level of regional activity, assess regional development issues, and to inform the development of employment policies and programs. Some agencies are interested in the broad trends for regions as part of assessing the state's economic performance.

Data for LFS regions is discussed in the feature article Labour Force Survey Regions which was included in the July 2004 edition of Labour Market Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 6105.0).

For more information please contact Peter Bradbury on (02) 6252 6565 or peter.bradbury@abs.gov.au


The 2004 update of Australian Historical Population Statistics (cat.no. 3105.0.65.001) was released on 1 October 2004.

This electronic product includes 105 data cubes (in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format) containing a wide range of demographic data going back where possible, to the beginnings of European settlement (1788) of Australia. Statistics are included on population size and growth, population distribution, population age-sex structure, births, deaths, migration and marriages and divorces. It is recommended that clients read the descriptions of each data cube before purchasing to ensure that it contains the information required.

For more information please contact Cassandra Eaves on (02) 6252 6384 or cassandra.eaves@abs.gov.au


A number of changes were introduced to the release format of Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0) as of the August 2004 issue (released 14 October 2004). Changes included the introduction of four new tables (tables 3, 4, 7 and 8). These tables present trend and seasonally adjusted estimates for short-term visitor arrivals and resident departures by selected countries of residence/destination. The key figures, key points, main features and time periods presented in tables 3 to 12 were redesigned to encourage better use of overseas arrivals and departures time-series estimates.

In most circumstances the ABS recommends the use of trend estimates in the analysis and interpretation of short-term overseas arrivals and departures estimates, particularly when making comparisons over time. This is because original estimates are influenced by seasonal and irregular factors that can distort interpretations in the fundamental direction of the series. The trend series removes such influences. The ABS encourages users of overseas arrivals and departures statistics to read Demography Working Paper 2004/02 - Interpretation and Use of Overseas Arrivals and Departures Estimates (cat. no. 3106.55.001).

For further information please contact Chrissy Beruldsen on (02) 6252 5640 or c.beruldsen@abs.gov.au


It might be over a year and a half away, but detailed planning for the 2006 Census is well underway.
The next Australian Census of Population and Housing is expected to be conducted on 8 August 2006. The objective of the Census is to accurately measure the number of people and dwellings in Australia on Census night and a range of their key characteristics. Details about the 2006 Census content, collection operations, privacy protection, confidentiality, processing and evaluation activities will be contained in Information Paper: 2006 Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content (cat. no. 2008.0) to be released early this year.

For further information please contact David Nauenburg on (02) 6252 5940 or david.nauenburg@abs.gov.au

The ABS has recently released a paper informing users of the proposed strategies for 2006 Census products and services, and to seek their views on them.

With the development of technology, in particular the Internet, and the growing sophistication of the user community, the ABS intends to recast its range of products and services for the 2006 Census. In particular:

  • Most electronic products (including CDATA 2006) will only be available via the Internet
  • A range of new Internet based products will be developed which will make it easier for users of varying degrees of sophistication to get the data they need
  • The range of census publications will be reduced
  • The range of data that will be made available as standard Census output will be expanded
  • All the profile tables that were released in 2001 will be made available in 2006.

For further information about the proposed strategy and details of how you can provide your views, please see Information Paper: 2006 Census of Population and Housing, ABS Views on Census Output Strategy (cat. no. 2009.0) which is available freely on the ABS Website under Census.

Based upon the results of this consultation, the ABS will develop specific proposals for the 2006 Census Output program, including the development of prototypes for 2006 Census products and services. Details of these prototypes will be circulated for comment in mid 2005.

For further information please contact Michael Beahan on Canberra (02) 6252 7007 or michael.beahan@abs.gov.au


The ABS is conducting a 'fitness for purpose' review of the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). The objective is to critically assess the SMVU to ensure the survey data aligns with user's needs. This review is different to the 2002-2003 SMVU review that focussed on the survey methodology and business processes.

The first phase of this review involves clarifying users' current issues with the SMVU. This SMVU Information Paper contains initial information on the issues the review team was aware of, and questions about these issues. A range of stakeholders were asked to provide feedback on this discussion paper. The review team uses feedback to clarify these issues. A final version of the issues paper, outlining all issues the review will seek to address, was released in February 2005.

For more information please contact Mary-Anne Stewart on (07) 3222 6360 or mary-anne.stewart@abs.gov.au


The latest Motor Vehicle Census was taken on 31 March 2004. Results were released on 17 November 2004 in Motor Vehicle Census, Australia (cat. no. 9309.0).

Past Motor Vehicle Census data are available in multidimensional Super Table format to subscribers of AusStats. This format allows clients to manipulate and build their own tables as required.  These data tables would also be available as a consultancy for those not subscribing to AusStats.

Motor Vehicles on GSP (cat. no. 9312.0.30.001) is a CD ROM Geographic Statistics Platform product featuring data from the 1999 Motor Vehicle Census. This product provides area data based on the postcode of the vehicle owner concorded to the Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC). Statistics can be produced on make and model for all vehicle types, year of manufacture and details on truck weights. A mapping facility is included within the software.

For more information please contact the Bookshop on 6207 0326 or go to www.abs.gov.au


Results from the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (cat. no. 9208.0) for the 12 months ended 31 October 2003 were released on 21 October 2004.

Data tables in Excel format are available as a special data package Survey of Motor Vehicle Use: Data Cubes, Australia (cat. no. 9210.0.55.001) available on request.

For more information please contact the Bookshop on 6207 0326 or go to www.abs.gov.au


The 2003 Water Survey - Agriculture, was developed in response to the need for nationally comparable information on water use and water management on Australian farms. The survey was run in 2002-03 and the results are set to be published in Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0) in March 2005.

The Agriculture sector accounts for 67% of total water use in Australia, consequently a sound understanding of how much, for what purpose, and where water is used in Agriculture, is essential. The ABS is the only provider of nationally consistent data on water supply and use and the results of the survey will increase the accuracy, timeliness, and comparability of water use by the agricultural sector nationally and at state and region levels.

There is strong and growing demand for nationally comparable water use and water management data. Survey results will be useful for water policy development, and in particular balancing the economic and environmental aspects of water use. A feature of the survey is that it can be linked to agricultural production data from the 2002-03 Agriculture Survey.

For more information please contact Cherie Poulton on (03) 6222 5983 or c.poulton@abs.gov.au



1233.0    Australian Harmonised Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) - Electronic Publication, July 2005 (June)

1280.0.55.001  Measuring Learning in Australia: Dictionary of Standards for Education and Training Statistics, 2004 (June)

1294.0    Information Paper: ANZSIC 2006 Development, 2005 (June)

1362.0    Information Paper: Regional Research in Australia - the Statistical Dimension: an Information Development Plan for Rural and Regional Statistics, 2004 (June)

1381.8    ACT and Region ... A Statistical Atlas, 2005 (April)


2008.0    2006 Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, 2006 (May)

2060.0    Information Paper: Enhancing the population Census Dataset: Developing a Longitudinal View, 2006 (March)


3218.0    Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand, 2003-04 (March)


4510.0    Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2004 (May)

4520.0    Information Paper: National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice, 2005 (May)

4525.0    National Criminal Justice Statistical Framework, 2004 (July)


5506.0    Taxation Revenue, Australia, 2003-04 (April)

5512.0    Government Finance Statistics, Australia, 2003-04 (April)

5514.0    Australian System of Government Finance Statistics, Concepts, sources and Methods, 2004 (May)


6104.0    Labour Statistics in Brief, Australia, 2005 (May)

6298.0    Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Standard Errors, 2005 (June)


4618.0    Water Use on Australian Farms, 2002-03 (March)


8129.0    Business Use of Information Technology, 2003-04 (March)

8127.0    Characteristics of Small Business, Australia, 2004 (April)

8160.0.55.001  Experimental Estimates of Business Entries and Exits, Australia 2001-02, 2002-03 & 2003-04 (April)

8560.0    Museums, Australia, 2003-04 (May)

8561.0    Public Libraries, Australia, 2003-04 (April)

8695.0    Accommodation Services, Australia, 2003-04 (June)

9503.0.55.001  Tourism Region Maps and Concordance Files, Australia, 2004 (June)

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 the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au. The web site also provides daily release information.



Office Hours: 9am to 4.30pm Mon to Fri 

Level 5,
QBE Insurance Building
33 Ainslie Avenue
Canberra City
Ph. (02) 6207 0326
Fax (02) 6207 0282


ACT ABS Office
Locked Bag 10

DIAL A STATISTIC LINE     1900 986 400
This service provides only current Consumer Price Index statistics  (77c per minute)

CPI INFORMATION LINE    1902 981 074 (77c per minute)
This service provides historical Consumer Price Index statistics

WEB SITE    www.abs.gov.au

Ph.     1300 135 070
Fax    1300 135 211

Email  client.services@abs.gov.au


(Ag) Regional Director: Alan Masters    (02) 6207 0286

 Assistant Director: Brent Perkins     (02) 6207 0244

Project and Information Manager: Carol Jennings    (02) 6207 0446

Project and Information Manager: Antony Perera     (02) 6207 0315