Chapter 1 - Introduction
The Australian Statistics Advisory Council was established by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975.
Under subsection 18(1) of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 the Council is to advise the Minister and the Australian Statistician on:
“(a) the improvement, extension and co-ordination of statistical services provided for public purposes in Australia;
(b) annual and longer term priorities and programs of work that should be adopted in relation to major aspects of the provision of those statistical services; and
(c) any other matters relating generally to those statistical services.”
The Act enables the Minister or the Australian Statistician to seek the advice of the Council on these matters. The Council also offers advice on these matters to the Minister or the Australian Statistician when it considers it appropriate to do so.
The Act provides that the Council shall consist of a part-time Chairperson, the Australian Statistician (ex officio), and between ten and twenty-two part-time members, including one nominee of each state premier and the chief ministers of the two territories. The Chairperson and members are appointed by the responsible Minister for periods of five years and up to three years respectively, and are eligible for reappointment. The membership of Council as at 30 June 2003 is detailed at Appendix 1.
Subsection 24(2) of the Act provides that: “the Council shall, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, prepare and submit to the Minister, for presentation to the Parliament, a report relating to matters connected with the operation of this Act”.
Council generally meets twice a year. Where appropriate, experts in a particular field are invited to attend for relevant agenda items. In addition to the meetings, Council has a web-based discussion forum which enables regular interaction between members.