5271.0.55.001 - Discussion Paper: Cultural and Creative Activity Satellite Accounts, Australia, 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2013  First Issue
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In 2008 the ABS published Arts and Cultural Heritage - An Information Development Plan (cat. no. 4915.0.55.002) after consultation with a wide range of stakeholders across Australia. The plan identifies the major policy and research questions in the arts and cultural heritage fields, the data needed to answer those questions, and recommends future directions for data development.

The plan describes three key needs for information about economic outcomes, all of which could potentially be met through development of satellite accounts. Further consultation undertaken for the feasibility study in late 2012 confirmed these needs remain, and enabled the requirements of stakeholders to be clarified. Their needs and specific data requirements are set out in the table below.

Information needsRationaleData itemsClassification variables
Measurement of economic outcomes from cultural and creative activityTo demonstrate the economic value of cultural and creative activities to Government and other potential partners. Stakeholders see this as important to fostering investment.Gross Domestic Product ($)
Gross Value Added ($)
Output ($)
Employment (no.)
Volunteers (no.)
Volunteer hours (no.)
Volunteer work ($)
Industry or domain (e.g. Performing arts, Literature and print media, etc)
Geography (state/territory)
Sector (market/non-market)
The composition of these economic outcomesTo monitor the economic viability of cultural and creative activities (particularly the dependence on support from Government, volunteers and fundraising) and assist with targeting strategies to develop the industries. Intertwined with this is concern about international competition and the ability to maintain Australian output and opportunities for community involvement. Income ($)
Expenses ($)
Research and Development expenditure ($)
Assets and liabilities ($)
Entities (no.)
Type of income (sales, transfers, investment income, royalties, etc)
Sources of income (government, business, households, exports, etc)
Type of expenditure (labour, advertising, taxes, etc)
Exports and Imports
Type of asset (cash, property, etc)
Entity size (employment and turnover)
Industry or domain
Sector (market/non-market)
Measurement of supply and demand linkages with other industriesTo understand the extent that cultural and creative activities are economic ‘enablers’ for other industries – particularly education, health, social policy, tourism and hospitality. Purchases of output by cultural and creative industries ($)
Sales of cultural and creative output to other industries ($)
Industry or domain
Geography (state/territory)

The stakeholders consulted during the feasibility study require this information a minimum of every three years, for the most recent financial year that can be produced using available data. Appendix 1 contains a series of tables illustrating how the desired outputs might be presented (note tables 6 to 10 contain some detailed data items that are not currently able to be produced for cultural and creative industries using existing data collections).

While the terms ‘cultural’ and ‘creative’ are often used interchangeably, most stakeholders view them as covering different sets of activities. Some stakeholders are primarily interested in ‘cultural’ activity, which is a relatively mature and accepted concept, while other stakeholders focus on the emerging concept of ‘creative’ activity. The feasibility study explored the options to address these different interests, and proposes that satellite accounts be produced individually for ‘cultural’ activity and ‘creative’ activity, as well as producing an aggregate account covering both that takes into account the overlap between the two. In each of the three satellite accounts, details by domain would be given to the extent possible.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on:
  • the data items and statistical output required, how frequently this information is needed, and how it would be used; and
  • the proposal to produce satellite accounts individually for cultural activity, creative activity, and combined cultural and creative activity.