1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Oct 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/11/2006   
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Community Indicators

The ABS recently hosted a national Community Indicators of Wellbeing Workshop in Melbourne. The workshop, on 5 & 6 September 2006, brought together over 100 people; including international visitors and representatives from federal, state and local government agencies, and academia.

The acting Deputy Australian Statistician, Mr Denis Farrell, facilitated proceedings. Ms Susan Linacre, the acting Australian Statistician, provided opening remarks and was followed by Mr Jon Hall who presented on the OECD World Forum Statistics, Knowledge and Policy. Professor Doug May (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada) and Mr Alton Hollett (Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency, Canada) gave a presentation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Community Accounts Program. They described how their system of community accounts was developed, the challenges they faced, and how the accounts are being used by both the community and government.

Presentations were delivered on community indicator developments in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. A federal perspective was given by representatives from the Department of Transport and Regional Services and the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. In addition, Dr Adam Graycar from the Government of South Australia (a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council) highlighted the human capital aspect of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Reform Agenda.

ABS gave a number of presentations throughout the workshop. These covered the development of Measures of Australia's Progress; data management and dissemination issues; and the themes of social capital, participation and cohesion; environment and sustainability; and crime and justice. Mr Denis Farrell also led a panel discussion on "Developing a sustainable program of community indicators" which provided a range of opinions and insights on current and future community indicator developments.

The workshop was very successful in highlighting the demand for community indicators to assist with the measurement of community health, well being and sustainability. It also provided a valuable forum to share international and Australian experiences and to discuss the way forward in the development of community.