1301.6.55.001 - Statistical News Tasmania (Newsletter), Jul 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/07/2006   
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Search has changed
Frequently Asked Question
New Confidential Unit Record Files (CURFS) Pricing Policy
2005-06 Agricultural Census
ABS Retail and Wholesale Economic Activity Survey 2005-06
Australian Population Association Conference
ABS Services Available at the Hobart Office
General Enquiries
Selected Recent Releases
Future Releases


If you wish to provide feedback or subscribe to this newsletter please contact Sasha Horsell on (03) 6222 5965 or email sasha.horsell@abs.gov.au. We also encourage you to place this newsletter on your organisation's intranet.

Search has changedSEARCH HAS CHANGED

To assist users in searching for information on the ABS web site, we have replaced the ABS web search with customised access to Google's search engine.

The ABS has chosen Google to search its web site because:

a) it is a leader in the web site search industry

b) relevant search results are returned

c) the licensing agreement allows use of the search engine without displaying sponsored links / advertising materials.

More information is available by clicking on the 'Search has changed' icon at the left, or under Help - Search Tips (you can find the link on our home page at https://www.abs.gov.au), or by contacting Statistical Publishing on (02) 6252 6667 or email Statistical Publishing WDB.


This issue of Statistical News - Tasmania sees the introduction of a new regular feature - the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ). Each issue will feature a commonly asked statistical question. If you have a question you would like answered, please email sasha.horsell@abs.gov.au.

What is the difference between Seasonality and Trend in a Time Series?
Seasonal Adjustment is a means of removing the estimated effects of normal seasonal variation from a series of data so that the effects of other influences on the series can be recognised more clearly. For example, retail sales in April in one particular year may be greater than the April of the previous year, supposedly pointing to an improvement in business returns. However the reason for the difference may be that Easter was in March in the earlier year, and in April in the later year, thereby influencing sales. By using seasonal adjustment techniques we can standardise the data.
Seasonal adjustment does not remove the irregular or non-seasonal influences which may be present in any particular month. Therefore, if we smooth seasonally adjusted series of data we can produce a measure of trend by reducing the impact of the irregular component of the series.
For further information users may wish to refer to the ABS Information Paper: A Guide to Interpreting Time Series - Monitoring Trends, 2003 (cat. no. 1349.0).

The price of CURFs has fallen from 1 July 2006 following an ABS review of the prices of all ABS products and services.

CURFs are microdata files from a range of ABS household and labour surveys. There are currently over 70 CURFs available. After confidentialisation, CURFs are released to authorised clients for the purposes of statistical analysis and policy research. CURFs are the most detailed data product available from the ABS and are used widely by researchers and academics. Current examples include CURFs from the 2005 Survey of Education and Training and the 2004-05 National Health Survey.

Access to a Basic CURF is available via CD-ROM or the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL). Access to an Expanded CURF is available via the RADL only. The RADL is accessible for authorised users via the ABS web site and enables the ABS to make more detailed microdata available than on CD-ROM, while still maintaining the confidentiality of ABS data providers.

To access the new CURF price list and to obtain further information about CURFs see Services We Provide (you can find the link on our home page at https://www.abs.gov.au). To keep up to date on new CURFs expected to be released, see the List of CURFs Expected to be Released.

Contact Details
For queries regarding access to CURFs or information about RADL please email curf.management@abs.gov.au.

Ag census


5,000 Tasmanian farm businesses were surveyed as part of the 2005-06 Agricultural Census. Approximately 180,000 forms were despatched to agricultural businesses around Australia on the 9th June.

This is the first time the Australian Business Register (ABR) has been used as the main frame for the Agricultural Census. This has allowed the ABS to approach all businesses that have indicated some form of agricultural activity when registering an Australian Business Number (ABN). The new frame has replaced the original ABS land-based list frame, which had become difficult to maintain. The new ABR-based frame has allowed for greater coverage of agricultural businesses for ABS statistical collections, leading to more accurate estimates. The ABR-based frame will also be used for subsequent agricultural collections.

The agricultural census will collect data on a wide range of agricultural commodities, livestock numbers and land use practices, including water usage and sources, tree planting and fencing to prevent land degradation.

Information gathered from the census will give planners and policy makers a greater understanding of what is happening in the agriculture sector and an understanding of future prospects for agricultural industries. This information will also help policy makers and other bodies involved in the industry, including farmers, to develop and maintain strategies to ensure sustainable farming practices.

Preliminary data from the 2005-06 Agricultural Census is expected to be released in early 2007. Final data is expected to be released in December 2007 and for most regions, will be released at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level. It is also anticipated that data will be available for other regions of national interest such as National Action Plan regions and Natural Resource Management regions. Further information about agriculture statistics can be found at Themes - Agriculture (you can find the Themes link on our home page at https://www.abs.gov.au) or by clicking on the icon at the left.


Approximately 16,000 businesses across Australia will be asked to participate in the ABS survey of retail and wholesale businesses for the 2005-06 financial year.

The survey will provide a detailed snapshot of the retail and wholesale industries. Government policy makers and private sector analysts will use this information to assess the effectiveness of their policies and programs.

Data available from the survey will include:
  • business counts, employment, income and expenses;
  • commodity sales and gross margins; and
  • selected performance indicators, e.g. operating profit before tax, industry value added.

Survey questionnaires will be despatched in August 2006. Data will be released in the publications Retail Industry, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8622.0), Wholesale Industry, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8638.0), and several associated spreadsheets. These products will be available for free download from the ABS web site in mid 2007. More detailed data may be available on a customised basis on request.

For further information contact William Milne on (03) 9615 7862, or see Retail and Wholesale Economic Activity Survey 2005-06 under Survey Participant Information (you can find the link on our home page at https://www.abs.gov.au).


"Population, Policy and Australia's Destiny" is the theme of the 13th biennial conference of the Australian Population Association, to be held in Adelaide later this year. From 5 - 8 December, demographers, population geographers, policy makers and planners will discuss contemporary issues relating to population studies.

Highlights and key speakers include:
    • The W D Borrie Lecture
    • Professor Ian Pool, Professor of Demography, University of Waikato.
Population and Policy:
    • Professor Graeme Hugo, Federation Fellow and Professor of Geographical and Environmental Studies, University of Adelaide
    • Professor Peter McDonald, Professor of Demography and Head of the Demography and Sociology program, Australian National University

Local and Regional population change:
    • Ms Kate Atkinson, General Manager, City of Playford
    • Mr Peter Hall, Director Planning and Community Services, City of Victor Harbor
    • The Hon Greg Crafter, Population Policy consultant
    • Professor Barry Chiswick, Head and Research Professor, Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago
    • Dr Marla Asis, Director of Research and Publication, Scalabrini Migration Centre, Philippines
    • Dr Hania Zlotnik, Director, United Nations Population Division
Information on the conference, including registration and the call for papers can be found from the link at http://www.apa.org.au or in the attached brochure.


Sponsors of this conference are The Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Government of South Australia, Department of Trade and Economic Development (major sponsors) and Australian government, Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (associate sponsor).

When you need to engage professional, timely and objective information or statistical consultancy services, first consider the range of services available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The ABS Hobart Office has a team of consultants available to answer all your information and statistical enquiries on a fee for service basis. Our consultants can assist you with the provision of data for the most recent period available or on a time series basis. They can provide tailored reports, containing tables, commentary and maps which highlight the characteristics of a target market. To discuss your information needs contact the ABS Client Services or email


National Information Referral Service
Phone: 1300 135 070 (between 8.30-5.00pm EST)
Fax: 1300 135 211
Post: Client Services, ABS, GPO Box 796, Sydney 2001


1380.0.55.003 Perspectives on Regional Australia: Household Expenditure Throughout Australia (Released 12/07/2006)
This publication presents a regional perspective on average weekly household expenditure on goods and services from the ABS Household Expenditure Survey (HES) 2003-04. This contributes towards the information need, detailed in the Information Development Plan for regional statistics under priority no. 4: Improve the availability of data on regional economic wellbeing, by investigating opportunities for further development of estimates of income, including personal and household income and expenses; reliance on income support; and economic wellbeing of farm families, including the contribution to income of off-farm work.

4624.0 Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms (Released 06/07/2006)
This publication presents preliminary estimates of Natural Resource Management (NRM) activities and issues on Australian farms in 2004-05. Includes details on native vegetation, weeds, pests, land and soil and water. The estimates have been compiled from the ABS first dedicated Natural Resource Management survey. Contains state/territory estimates at the Natural Heritage Trust region level.

8221.0 Manufacturing Industry (Released 05/07/2006)
Presents final results from the Manufacturing Survey. Shows details of employment, wages and salaries, turnover, and industry value added (IVA) classified by industry class. Also includes industry subdivision data classified by employment size, state and territory, and data related to exporting activity, components of IVA, acquisition and disposal of assets and selected labour costs. Most estimates include non-employing businesses and use a combination of data from the Manufacturing survey and business income tax data provided to the Australian Taxation Office.

3235.6.55.001 Population by Age and Sex, Tasmania, Electronic Delivery (Released 30/06/2006)
Contains the estimated resident population by age (in five-year groups up to 85 and over) and sex for each Statistical Local Area, Statistical Subdivision, and Statistical Division in Tasmania at 30 June of the reference year. Estimates for Local Government and other areas using Statistical Local Areas as a base can be derived from these estimates. Estimates for Postal Areas and for Population Census Collection Districts are available on request.
6248.0.55.001 Wage and Salary Earners, Public Sector, Australia, Mar 2006 (Released 15/06/2006)
Contains estimates of gross earnings and number of public sector employees by level of government by state. Additional unpublished information is available.

8412.0 Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia, Mar 2006 (Released 14/06/2006)
Actual and expected expenditure by private organisations exploring for minerals and petroleum. Mineral exploration expenditure is classified by state and commodity, and data are provided on metres drilled. Petroleum exploration expenditure is classified by onshore/offshore, and from the September quarter 1994, by region.

5676.0 Business Indicators, Australia, Mar 2006 (Released 05/06/2006)
Contains quarterly estimates of profits, income from the sale of goods and services, wages and salaries, and the book value of inventories. These data are classified by broad industry, and original, seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are included for Australia, in current price terms. Volume measures are published for sales and inventories. State/territory data will also be included for sales, and wages and salaries, in current price terms.

5625.0 Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia, Mar 2006 (Released 01/06/2006)
Preliminary estimates derived from a sample survey of private businesses. Contains estimates of actual and expected new capital expenditure by type of asset (new buildings and other structures/equipment, plant and machinery) and by selected Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification industries. These statistics are expressed in current prices and chain volume measures, in original, seasonally adjusted and trend terms and are available for Australia and by state/territory.

8731.0 Building Approvals, Australia, Apr 2006 (Released 30/05/2006)
Provides the number and value of dwelling units approved by sector (public/private) and by state, number and value of new other residential dwelling units approved by type of building, and the number and value of non-residential building jobs approved by type of building (i.e. by function such as 'retail and wholesale trade', 'offices') and value ranges. State data includes the number of private sector houses approved; number and value of new other residential dwellings by type of building such as flats, units or apartments in a building of one or two storeys; number and value of non-residential building jobs by type of building and sector; and for Capital City Statistical Divisions, the total number of dwelling units approved broken down by Houses, Other Dwellings and Total Dwelling Units. Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates by state are included for the number of dwelling units and value of building approved. The quarterly value of building approved is shown in chain volume measure terms.

6275.0 Locations of Work, Australia (Released 26/05/2006)
Provides information about people aged 15 years and over and the types of places they work, with particular focus on people who usually worked more hours at home than elsewhere in their main or second job or business. Further details about people employed at home include occupation, industry, computer and internet usage, reasons for working at home and time in job at home. Estimates can be classified by demographics such as state, sex, age, marital status and country of birth, as well as labour force characteristics.

4715.6.55.005 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Tasmania, 2004-05 (Released 11/04/2006)
Presents results for Tasmania from the publication 2004-05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Summary of Results, Australia (4715.0). Topics include measures of health status, health actions taken, and lifestyle factors which may influence health.

8635.6.55.001 Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Tasmania - Electronic Delivery (06/04/2006)
Contains the results from the on-going quarterly Survey of Tourist Accommodation. Data provide information on the supply of, and demand for, tourist accommodation facilities. Data include number of establishments, capacity and employment for the quarter and occupancy and takings from accommodation for each month; by type of establishment and by star grading.
This is a useful reference for policy makers and industry monitors and advisers. Information is presented for each state/territory and Australia and by Tourism Regions as defined by the respective state/territory tourism commissions.


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