1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Dec 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/2008   
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Statistical News
Developments in ABS Statistics

Energy Use & Conservation
Australian households ranked energy star rating more important than price or brand when buying a refrigerator, freezer or clothes dryer according to a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Environmental Issues: Energy Use and Conservation, Mar 2008 (cat. no. 4602.0.55.001) is a publication that presents data on sources of energy in dwellings, use of energy for different activities (e.g water heating, cooking), household insulation, household appliances and types of heating and cooling systems.

Increased Wine Stocks
Wine production has gone up, but lower domestic sales and a drop in exports has led to increased wine stocks according to figures recently released in a publication titled Australian Wine and Grape Industry, 2008 (cat. no. 1329.0).

The total grape crush for 2007-08 came in at 1.8 million tonnes, up by nearly a third (31%) on last year; this produced 1.2 billion litres of wine, up just over a quarter (27%).

While production was up, exports of Australian wine fell 9% (to 715 million litres) and domestic sales dropped by 5% (to 426 million litres); the United Kingdom remained the largest importer of Australian wine, taking 268 million litres valued at $895 million.

Getting Smarter
Qualifications such as Bachelor Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates are being undertaken by more Australians, according to figures released in a publication titled Education and Work, Australia, May 2008 (cat.no.6227.0).

More than 2.5 million people (19% of all Australians aged 15–64) were enrolled in a course of study as at May 2008.

The proportion of people with non-school qualifications (see media note) has increased to 54%, up from 42% in 1998. The proportion attaining a Bachelor Degree or higher has almost doubled, from 14% in 1998 to 22% in 2008.

This publication provides selected information on participation in education, highest educational attainment, transition from education to work and current labour force and demographic characteristics for the civilian population aged 15-64 years.

Who cares?
Around 2.5 million Australians aged 15 years and over care for someone at home because of a disability or old age, according to the ABS publication titled A Profile of Carers in Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 4448.0).

The publication provides an overview of the characteristics and activities of people who provide informal assistance to someone with a disability, long-term health condition or to older people (aged 60 years and over).

Not since the 20’s
Continuing unfavourable conditions and lack of water kept agricultural production down during 2007-08, according to recent figures in the Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2007-08 publication (cat .no 7111.0).

Rice plantings dropped to the lowest levels since 1927, from 20,000 hectares in 2006–07 to 3,000 hectares in 2007–08 while production was down 86% to 23,000 tonnes.

Sheep and lamb numbers - at 79 million head were also at their lowest levels since the 1920's, but plantings of grain sorghum came in at a record high of one million hectares, leading to a tripling in production to 4 million tonnes.

This publication provides preliminary estimates of principal agricultural commodities and livestock numbers for the season and comparative data for the previous two years.