5269.0.55.001 - Information Paper: A Future Australian Transport Satellite Account: ABS Views, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/10/2011  First Issue
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Short term outputs

8.1 At this pre-development stage of the TrSA process, it is difficult to identify all the issues which may influence what could be published in a TrSA. This is due to:

  • the development of a TrSA is a complex and costly exercise which has not previously been attempted in Australia;
  • the absence of international standards for a TrSA has resulted in a variety of methods and outputs being implemented in various countries; and
  • detailed financial estimates relating to for-hire and own-account transport activity have not been collected since the last Transport Activity Survey in 1983-84, and the quality of comparable data which will be collected in upcoming surveys for the different transport modes is not clear at this stage.

8.2 It is therefore intended to follow an incremental approach to the development and dissemination of TrSA estimates. The key aim of an initial TrSA would be to measure the contribution of for-hire and own-account transport value added to GDP, with tables (subject to confidentiality and quality issues) potentially including the following type of information at the broad industry and/or product level (ANZSIC Division for non-transport industries):
  • Total Transport Value Added (split by for-hire and own-account) by transport industry (ANZSIC sub-division) and non-transport industry (by ANZSIC division);
  • Transport supply table (with own-account transport activity defined as a separate industry and product);
  • Transport use table (with own-account transport activity defined as a separate industry and product);
  • product-by-industry Direct requirements (per $ of industry output at basic prices); and,
  • own-account data by mode and for-hire transport industry (Division I) by freight/passenger transport activity if possible.

8.3 Examples of possible TrSA tables are presented in Appendix 2.

8.4 Another key feature of satellite accounts is that the core monetary outputs can be linked with non-monetary data. Some non-monetary outputs of interest, which may be presented subject to availability of data sources and feasibility of methods, include:
  • employment in the broader transport industry;
  • total distance travelled and tonne-kilometres by registered motor vehicles;
  • type of vehicle or transport equipment; and,
  • physical volume measures of active transport activity.

Possible future outputs

8.5 From consultations and the review of international work, there is demand for other outputs which may be considered for inclusion in TrSAs subsequent to the initial publication. The initial scope of an Australian TrSA would be limited to that outlined in Section 6 of this paper. However, the full potential of a TrSA could be realised with expanded scope and outputs. Potential additional outputs include:
  • Transport services provided by households for their own use. These values could potentially be added as supplementary data in a future TrSA, rather than breaking the link to GDP. While there are various conceptual and methodological issues in measuring such activity, it is recognised that such information is useful for analytical purposes, such as monitoring the extent of any modal shifts in use of transport by households. That is people travelling to work in cars, public transport or cycling. Volume data may be able to assist with this, and options to do so will be explored.
  • Links to other satellite accounts/environment accounts. Given the interest in emissions, fuel and other energy use, links between the TrSA and environment and energy accounts may be of high priority/interest after the initial release of the TrSA.
  • Transport employment data. The level of employment data able to be released is unclear at this stage.
  • State and Territory level data. The ABS would investigate possible collaborations with Government and academic researchers to assist the development of State or regional TrSAs external to the ABS, as has happened with tourism satellite accounts in Australia.
  • Estimates of wider transport industry productivity. The first TrSA will be unable to provide estimates of industry productivity. However, if a time series of transport hours worked and numbers employed could be developed, it may be possible to estimate measures such as labour productivity.
  • Transport assets/infrastructure data. Options to identify wider TrSA transport industry assets could be explored in the future, subject to user demand and/or data availability.