1376.0 - Local Government and ABS, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/03/2012   
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Image: Other News and Contacts OTHER NEWS AND CONTACTS

Added 31/10/2012
Agriculture Census releases
Local Government Areas and building approval data


Final estimates for the 2010-11 Agricultural Census were released initially on the 29 June 2012. The initial releases included, agricultural commodity information (including area and production) in Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no. 7121.0), information on production value in Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no. 7503.0) and agricultural water use information in Water Use on Australian Farms, 2010-11 (cat. no. 4618.0). The June releases were predominantly at state and national levels.

Subsequent regional releases are planned for 9 November 2012 for commodity data and 21 December 2012 for water use. These are planned for Natural Resource Management (NRM) levels, and down as far as Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) on the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard (ASGS) geography, and Statistical Local Area (SLA) on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) geography.

Other planned releases that will feature Agricultural Census information include the Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008), to be released on 13 December 2012 at the NRM level, and Historical Selected Agriculture Commodities, by State 1861 to present (cat. no. 7124.0) which features state and national level information on a range of selected commodities, some going back to the 1860’s.


From the July 2012 issue of Building Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0) onwards, data is being released on the ASGS only. Under the ASGS, Building Approval data will be published at the Australia, State/territory, Greater Capital City Statistical Area, Local Government Area and Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) levels. For more information see the Feature Article: Implementation of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard in ABS Building Approvals Collection.

Added 16/3/2012
Regional @ a Glance web pages
Help for Local Government on the ABS website
What's New in Regional Statistics
Regional internal migration estimates
Need help managing the quality of your statistics?
Betaworks showcases ABS web designers
Newsletter and ABS contact details
How to subscribe to this Newsletter


The 'Regional @ a Glance' pages are a great place to start if you are looking for data or information about regional statistics. These pages are targeted at users of data for regions below state and territory level. This includes urban, rural, metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, including local government areas. The entry page provides a number of access points to a variety of information on regional statistics.

The 'Capital Cities' page was recently updated with the latest 'National Regional Profile' (NRP) data. The NRP contains a range of key summary social and economic data for regions including Local Government Areas.

The 'Local Government Areas' page assists users who are looking for data for their local government area. It provides links to data that can be used to answer basic social and economic questions on a local government area. A link to the National Regional Profile is also provided on this page to help you quickly find selected key statistics for your local government area.

Information on other regions, what's new and regional statistics help, can also be found on the Regional @ a Glance page.


'Services to Local Government' is a series of information pages designed to help you find data for your local government area and inform you how to keep up to date with the latest ABS releases and available training. It also provides information about how ABS uses local government data. You can find the 'Services to Local Government' pages by heading to the ABS Home Page, clicking on 'Services' along the top navigation bar and following the link to 'Local Government'.

If you are interested in regional statistics you may like to read the newsletter What's New in Regional Statistics (cat. no. 1386.0). This newsletter provides information on the latest developments in statistics that are relevant to regions (including metropolitan, urban, and rural areas) and other information of likely interest to researchers, policy makers and other users of small area data. What's New in Regional Statistics highlights data released by the ABS' Regional Statistics Program and includes articles on other ABS releases that are relevant to users of regional data.

For example, the June 2011 issue provided a feature article on 'The Changing Face of Wage and Salary Earners on Melbourne's Outskirts'.


The ABS is exploring the development of a new series of demographic estimates, to provide better information on movement patterns of Australia's population at regional level. Currently, the main source of migration data below state/territory level collected by the ABS is the five-yearly snapshots from the Census. Change-of-address information based on administrative data is being used to develop an experimental historical series of regional internal migration estimates, based on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). Medicare data has not previously been deemed suitable for smaller regions mainly because it has been supplied to ABS by postcode, which is not directly compatible with the ASGC.

The ABS released Discussion Paper: Assessment of Methods for Developing Estimates for Regional Internal Migration (cat. no. 3405.0.55.001) in December 2011. This discussion paper provides an overview of the current sources of migration estimates and includes information about the data sources and methods used to develop an experimental historical series of regional internal migration estimates. It summarises a method to convert the historical Medicare-based internal migration data to ASGC boundaries. It discusses challenges with this approach and provides potential solutions to overcome these challenges in respect of the historical estimates. The paper also provided an opportunity to provide feedback to the ABS on these data, methods and experimental estimates. The ABS will then consider this feedback in planning any future work on regional internal migration estimates.

The ABS has been releasing information on various quality initiatives to the ABS website over the past few years to help clients better manage the quality of their data and to better understand the quality of ABS data. To make it easier for users to find all these quality initiatives (and others) the Statistical Quality Management webpage has recently been released and brings these resources together into a one-stop-online-shop to help clients find all of these resources. The information includes:
    • the ABS Data Quality Framework which provides the standards for assessing and reporting on the quality of statistical information
    • the ABS Data Quality Management page which includes some quality initiatives that may assist in managing the risks around your data e.g. quality gates which help you to identify any data problems closer in the process to when they occur
    • links to ABS Quality Information Papers produced by ABS staff and
    • links to Other Sources of Information Related to quality in the ABS.


BetaWorks gives ABS web designers a place to showcase their work and gain public insight into our website and its future. It's where ideas grow and the intelligence gained is used to improve your ABS website experience. It provides opportunities for comment on and input to potential innovations for the ABS website. New projects are uploaded regularly, so have a look and let us know what you think.

This newsletter is designed to improve communication between the ABS and the Local Government Sector. New ABS initiatives to assist local government organisations will be announced in this newsletter as they evolve.

We appreciate receiving your views and suggestions about this newsletter so that it remains useful and assists you to understand and use ABS statistics. We also welcome suggestions for articles that you feel should be included. Please email your comments and suggestions to: regional.statistics@abs.gov.au.

For other enquiries contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or e-mail: client.services@abs.gov.au.


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