4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Aug 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/08/2005   
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While the first of July has traditionally marked the beginning of a new financial year, in 2005 it also ushered in a new era of freedom for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

For the first time, ABS publications and tables became available for free download from the ABS web site (www.abs.gov.au), a change that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon. Chris Pearce MP, described as "a historic outcome for an informed community".

The new policy, in combination with the ABS's email notification system which alerts clients to new material on the web site, means that interested people will be aware of and able to download a new publication within minutes of it being released.

As a result, the ABS web site which currently receives about 50 million page views per year, is expected to become even more popular with internet users looking to become better informed about Australian economic and social issues.

Members of the public will still be able to buy copies of printed publications via the ABS's e-commerce facility.