1308.7 - Inform NT, Jun 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2009   
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Acting Regional Director - Tom Joseph ~ Budget Outcomes


Hi, I am acting in the position while Merilyn Henden is off enduring the Canberra weather in Central Office. I have transferred from the WA office of the ABS, where I headed the Business Statistics Centre for Labour Statistics. The NT Office has been very busy meeting with a number of agencies, preparing for the Census test for remote communities, and conducting a number of training courses and consultation sessions. This has given me the the chance to get out and meet many of you and I look forward to working with all of you while I am here.

Since the last edition, the office has conducted training in Understanding Demographic Data and Turning Data into Information. These courses have been well-subscribed and we look forward to presenting Principles of Questionnaire Design in September. In early May we also held a consultation session on the draft Indigenous Wellbeing Framework. Thank you to the many who attended and contributed to this valuable work being conducted by our National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics.

This is an exciting time for the organisation, particularly with the announcement of the budget outcomes for an expanded work programme (see below).

The NT Office and the ABS has also been working closely with Dennis Griffiths and Hock Seng Lee to improve the NT statistical geography. This project has been ongoing since 2004 and will lead to improvements in census geography for the 2011 Census. Congratulations to everyone who worked on this project. Best wishes also to Dennis on his retirement; we wish him all the very best on his new adventures.

On an administrative note, you might have noticed that the ABS NT Office has not as yet moved to the Civitas Building at 22 Harry Chan Avenue. We will advise all our clients when this move takes place.


Following the announcement of the Federal Budget in May, the ABS has been successful in securing an additional $15m annually in Government appropriation. As a result of the increased funding, and following an extensive consultation process with users, the ABS will be in a position to reinstate, continue or enhance several programs. This includes: reinstating the full sample for the Labour Force Survey; continuing the full monthly sample for the Retail Survey; and restoring funding for most of the other programs that had funding cut in 2008–09.

In addition, the ABS has secured funding for: (1) the creation of a new index to measure the out-of pocket living costs experienced by households whose principal source of income is derived from a pension or other government benefit; (2) to assist in the measurement of progress in reform and improvements in service delivery against performance indicators in COAG National Agreements in the areas of health, disability, education and housing; and, (3) Census field staff pays to ensure compliance with the new National Employment Standards under the revised workplace relations system.

For further information please see ABS Budget Outcome - Change to the work program 09/10 and beyond.

Tom Joseph

Acting Regional Director