Australian Statistics Advisory Council

Australian Statistics Advisory Council

About ASAC

The Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC, the Council) was established under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 (the Act) to be the key advisory body to the Minister and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on statistical services. This includes addressing the priority of maintaining and enhancing the quality of official statistics, as well as providing valuable input to the directions and priorities of the ABS work program.

Under subsection 18(1) of the Act, the Council is to advise the Minister and the Australian Statistician on:

  1. the improvement, extension and co-ordination of statistical services provided for public purposes in Australia;
  2. annual and longer term priorities and programs of work that should be adopted in relation to major aspects of the provision of those statistical services; and
  3. any other matters relating generally to those statistical services.

The Act enables the Minister and/or the Australian Statistician to seek the advice of the Council on these matters. The Council works closely with the Australian Statistician, and the Council Chairperson meets periodically with the Minister to ensure advice and assistance is readily available.


To contribute to the effective development of Australia’s statistical assets, by providing the Minister and the Statistician with independent, relevant and timely advice on national priorities.

Annual Report

The Council reports annually to the Parliament. The 2022-23 Australian Statistics Advisory Council Annual Report is available from the ABS website.


The Council provides independent advice to the Statistician and our Minister regarding current and longer term statistical priorities and other relevant matters.

The Council is chaired by Professor Ian Harper AO, and meets at least once a year.

    Meeting: 15 March 2023

    The Council held a meeting in Melbourne on 15 March 2023. Topics discussed included:

    • Economic and Statistical Outlook for 2023;
    • Progress with data sharing between the Commonwealth and States and Territories; and
    • Breaking Down Barriers – Melbourne Institute’s Shared Data Environment for studying disadvantage in Australia.

    Meeting: 19 July 2023

    The Council held a meeting in Sydney on 19 July 2023. Topics discussed included:

    • Update on the National Disability Data Asset / Australian National Data Integration Infrastructure;
    • ABS Budget Outcomes; and
    • Data and Digital Government Strategy.

    Meeting: 22 November 2023

    The Council held a meeting in Canberra on 22 November 2023. Topics discussed included:

    • Update on State and Territory population estimates;
    • 2026 Census Program Update; and
    • 2023-24 ABS Internal Budget Pressures.


    The Council consists of a part-time Chairperson, the Australian Statistician (ex officio), and between 10 and 22 part-time members, including a senior official from each State and Territory if nominated by the Premier or Chief Minister. The Chairperson and members are appointed by the Minister on a part‑time basis and may hold office for five years in the case of the Chairperson, and up to three years in the case of members. Positions holders are eligible for re-appointment.

    The Council represents a broad cross-section of perspectives, covering government, business, academia, and community interests. Council members are appointed for their ability to identify emerging issues and needs, and to be able to assist in promoting greater coordination of the statistical system nationally.

    Membership as at 10 October 2023
    Professor Ian Harper AO (Chairperson)
    Dr David Gruen AO, Australian Statistician (ex officio)
    Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver AM, University of Sydney
    Professor A. Abigail Payne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
    Dr Shane Johnson, The Department of Treasury
    Dr Luci Ellis, Westpac Banking Group
    Ms Gayle Milne, National Data Commissioner
    Ms Melinda Cilento, Committee for Economic Development of Australia
    Professor Robert Bruenig, Australian National University
    Mr Stephen Walters, Business Council Australia
    Professor Nicholas Biddle, Australian National University
    Mr Chris Barrett, Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance
    Mr Mick Butler, Northern Territory Department of Treasury and Finance
    Mr Alistair Jones, Western Australian Department of Treasury
    Mr Antony Skinner, Queensland Treasury
    Mr Stephen Miners, Australian Capital Territory Treasury and Economic Directorate
    Ms Tammie Pribanic, South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance
    Ms Joann Wilkie, New South Wales Treasury
    Mr Todd Crawford, Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet

    Contact us

    Secretariat support for the Council is provided by the Australian Statistician's Office.

    ASAC Secretariat
    Australian Statistics Advisory Council
    Locked Bag 10
    Belconnen ACT 2616


    Freedom of Information

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