1376.0 - Local Government and ABS, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/03/2012   
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Image: The ABS Regional Statistics Program THE ABS REGIONAL STATISTICS PROGRAM

Added 31/10/2012
In partnership with the Australian Community Indicators Network (ACIN) we have been involved in preparations for the next national video seminar scheduled for 12th November 2012. This seminar will use 'housing' as a theme to discuss Census data availability, practical use and appearance under the new ABS geography, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). Speakers will also provide their views on the 4th OECD World Forum in New Delhi, India. The forum occurred on 16-19 October 2012 with the theme 'Measuring Well-being for Development and Policy Making'. More information about the network can be found on the ACIN website. Recordings of seminars held by the network can also be found on the National Statistical Service website.

As an outcome of consultation with users in early 2012, the next release of the National Regional Profile (NRP) will contain a number of new data items, expanding the range of data provided for small regions. Some key additions to the NRP content include:

  • counts of businesses by industry, and entries and exits by employment size
  • proportion of the youth population (15-19 years) fully engaged in work and/or study
  • labour force participation rate and top five employing industries
  • method of travel to work
  • war service pensions and income support supplement data
  • average monthly household rent and mortgage payments
  • average number of usual residents per private dwelling
  • average household and family size
  • population of working age (15-64 years) and median age (all persons)
  • gross value of irrigated agriculture production
  • dynamic land cover (land cover type) and main land use category.

Most of these data items can be repeated across multiple levels of geography, Australia-wide. The next release of the NRP will be for local government areas and regions in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, including SA2, SA3, SA4 and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas.

NRP content development is a long term ongoing focus. If you have discovered useful datasets or data items with wider appeal, that could be replicated across jurisdictions and add value to the NRP, we invite you to contact us with your suggestions. Please call Arnold Strals on (08) 8237 7365 or email regional.statistics@abs.gov.au.

Added 12/4/2012
The 2012 Local Government Managers Association (LGMA) National Congress & Business Expo will be held on 20-23 May in Perth. The ABS will have an exhibition booth at this conference and members of our team will be there. We encourage you to come and see us for a chat about ABS data, to ask questions or to get a demonstration of our online products. Data from the 2011 Census will be released soon and we will be available to talk with you about this too. For more information about the LGMA National Congress & Business Expo see the LGMA website.
Added 16/3/2012
Welcome to the latest edition of the 'Local Government and ABS' newsletter.

Recently, there has been significant focus on regional policy and programs at all levels of government - and an increasing need for an evidence base. Our team at the ABS Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre (RRSNC) aim to understand the need for regional data across a wide range of data users, including local government.

We engage with the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport - who have a strong interest in regional data, including data for Local Government Areas (LGAs) as well as the 55 Regional Development Australia (RDA) regions (aggregates of LGAs). That Department began to develop a new website in 2011, "myregion.gov" and ABS are currently assisting the Department with relevant data to support future development of this site, as well as for the other policy and planning activities of the Department.

The ABS aim to support local governments and RDA committees with relevant statistics for local planning and evaluation. Late in 2011 I attended the Local Government Researchers Forum, run by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), and I heard about a variety of research and survey work being undertaken by local government. I presented a brief paper outlining some aspects of our ABS program of statistics for local government - the papers from this forum can be found via the ACELG website.

We are also involved in the Australian Community Indicators Network (ACIN). The ACIN aims to assist people using or developing community indicators to share ideas and information and to foster collaboration. For information see the ACIN website. Recordings of seminars held by the network can also be found on the National Statistical Service website.

We would like to engage with local government in order to build our understanding of your data needs and support you to use data effectively. We would also welcome feedback on our products and services such as the LGA profiles in the National Regional Profile (NRP). A feature article on the NRP, Regional Data At Your Finger Tips, is included in this newsletter. If you are working for local government and using ABS data, or have a local planning or research project you want to discuss with us, please contact Francesca Foster, on (08) 8237 7372 or email regional.statistics@abs.gov.au.

To keep up with recent news, from now on this newsletter will be updated more regularly. We encourage you to subscribe now to get email notification of updates.

Best wishes for all your plans in 2012 - and may they be data rich!


Lisa Conolly
Director, Rural and Regional Statistics National Centre