1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Mar 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2009   
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Fluffy Dice
Statistical Carrelations

It’s time to polish the dipstick and Baygon the muffler, it’s official, Western Australia is a state full of rev heads.

As at 31 March 2008, WA had 813 vehicles per 1,000 residents, the highest number of vehicles per resident population of any state or territory in Australia (cat. no. 9309.0).

One could argue that we need more automation to cross our big, wide, brown state, however the second highest state was Tasmania at 787 motor vehicles per 1,000 residents, while the Northern Territory (another big, wide, brown state) was the lowest (only 563 vehicles per 1,000 residents).

Census Of A Different Kind
When most people think of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), they usually think of the Census of Population and Housing conducted by the ABS every 5 years, which is the official count of population and dwellings. But there are other censuses, the Motor Vehicle Census (MVC) being one of them.

Many people are unaware that a Motor Vehicle Census has been conducted by the ABS periodically from 1971. The MVC, like the Population Census, is used to support planning, administration, policy development and evaluation activities of governments, businesses, researchers and many other users.

The WA State Government may use the information to look at where roads need to be built or how many old cars are on the roads we already have, while local business may use the information to stock up on car polish and those funny hats that Volvo drivers wear.

Is WA Kingswood Country?
Speaking of Volvos, the MVC counted 13,429 Volvos in WA as at 31 March 2008. That’s an awful lot of hats. Also the rivalry continues between Holden and Ford, with Holden in front on 275,825 to Ford’s 246,416. However they have both been blitzed by Toyota (359,435). Oh, what a feeling!

Another interesting increase highlighted by the MVC was the rise in the number of motorcycles compared to the previous census. As at 31 March 2008 there were 77,010 motorcycles on WA roads, an increase of 64% from 2003. That is 36 motorcycles per 1,000 residents, again the largest number per 1,000 residents of all the states and territories.

This may account for the rise in imports into WA of the number of leather jackets, from 6,250 in 2007 to 13,713 in 2008 and motorcycle safety helmets from 14,645 in 2007 to 17,571 in 2008 (data sourced through Australian Customs).

Re-born to be wild perhaps? A new generation of easy i-riders? Of more concern is that imports of shaving preparations into WA have dropped from 3,865 kilograms in 2007, to 2,403 kilograms in 2008. No word yet as to whether local bikie gangs are recruiting.

Big Boy’s Tricycles?
However, we may be jumping to conclusions as the MVC classification for Motorcycles covers two and three wheeled motor vehicles (constructed primarily for the carriage of one or two persons). Included are motor tricycles and motorcycles with sidecars, two and three wheeled mopeds and scooters.

What if more Western Australians are choosing to buy mopeds? Would we see a corresponding increase of black patent leather boots, false eyelashes and black hair dye? Will Perth soon be known as Australia’s Rome away from Rome? Perhaps not.

There are a couple of things to take out of all of this; it looks like Western Australians’ love affair with the car/motorbike/scooter will continue to grow; and as at 31 March 2008 there were 3,962 Jaguars in WA, and I still don’t own one.

Nelie Gaynor
Article by: Nellie Gaynor (Information Consultant & Daewoo Driver)