1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Jun 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/07/2007   
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Western Australian Statistical Indicators (WASI)

Research and Experimental Development in WA

Western Australia's recent economic boom has coincided with strong growth in the state's investment in research and experimental development (R&D). Between 2002-03 and 2004-05, the Western Australian economy grew 19.5% ($16,796 million) as measured by Gross State Product (GSP) in current price terms, while its gross expenditure on R&D increased 57.4% ($634 million) - almost three times faster than GSP.

While many factors have contributed to the surge in Western Australia's R&D expenditure, the expansion of the state's resources sector has had the largest impact on R&D investment. Between 2002-03 and 2004-05, the mining industry in Western Australia increased its expenditure on R&D by 130% ($255 million).

This article examines results from the 2004-05 suite of ABS R&D surveys, highlighting the extent to which Western Australia's R&D expenditure has grown in recent years and the sectors of the economy responsible for that growth. Data used in this analysis are from the recently released publication Research and Experimental Development, Australia, 2004-05 (ABS cat.no 8112.0)

GROWTH IN R&D EXPENDITURE BY INDUSTRY, Western Australia - 2002-03 to 2004-05

Graph: Growth in R&D Expenditure by Industry, Western Australia-2002-03 to 2004-05

General Social Survey: WA Summary

There are many, often interrelated, aspects of life important to human wellbeing such as good health, good family relationships and engagement with wider social networks, freedom from financial stress, feeling safe and secure and having access to suitable transport and information technology. In 2006, the ABS conducted its second General Social Survey (GSS) (first in 2002), a multi-dimensional survey that provides valuable information on all these aspects of life for Australian adults (persons aged 18 years and over).

This article summarises the results from the 2006 GSS for the Western Australian adult population, making comparisons between people of different age groups and household compositions. The article also identifies where there have been changes in circumstances from the 2002 GSS for people living in Western Australia. These include: households experiencing less financial difficulties; a higher proportion of people reporting their health to be excellent or very good; an increase in the incidence of people reporting one or more personal stressors; a slightly higher proportion of people reporting they have been the victim of crime; and lower levels of participation in sport and physical recreation activities.

Changing water and energy use in Perth homes

Domestic water and energy use has been the focus of much attention in recent times. Concerns have heightened over Perth's available water supply and the use of high energy consuming appliances. With the economy growing rapidly, Western Australia's population and housing requirements have increased substantially, placing considerable pressure on the state's water and energy resources. As a result, the Western Australian Government has implemented strategies, such as rebate schemes and education campaigns, to help reduce the excessive use of water and energy in Perth homes.

A survey of Domestic Use of Water and Energy in Western Australia was recently conducted by the ABS, based on topics proposed by the Water Corporation and Office of Energy. Results showed that over the last fifteen years, Perth households have embraced a number of new technologies, including appliances that have reduced water use in their homes, although they have increased their reliance on high energy using devices, such as air conditioners. For example, between 1992 and 2006, the proportion of Perth households using dual flush toilets rose from 36% to 84%; water efficient shower head use rose from 21% to 51%; front loading washing machine use rose from 7% to 25%; and air conditioner use rose from 40% to 74%.

This article analyses data from the Survey of Domestic Use of Water and Energy, Western Australia, October 2006 (cat. no. 4652.5) and compares the results with those from past ABS surveys on water and energy use. It examines whether water and energy using behaviours and perceptions have changed over time in Perth homes.