1100.2 - Statistics Victoria (Newsletter), Dec 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/01/2006   
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In this issue:

Message from the Regional Director
Victorian Statistical Advisory Forum meeting of 6/12/2005
Annual 2005 population workshop held in Melbourne
Victorian community indicators move toward becoming reality
Treasurer Peter Costello announces free access to ABS data on the web
Victoria's water storages
Population projections, Australia, 2004 to 2101
Births, Australia, 2004
Deaths, Australia, 2004
Divorces, Australia, 2004
Prisoners in Australia, 2005
Environmental issues: people's views and practices
Water use on Australian farms, 2003-04
Principal agricultural commodities, Australia, preliminary, 2004-05
Australian Bureau of Statistics business register, counts of businesses
Manufacturing industry, Victoria, 2001-02
Motor vehicle census, Australia, 31 March 2005
Information paper: ANZSIC 2006 implementation, 2006
Research paper: small area estimation of disability in Australia, October 2005
Research paper: beyond GDP: measures of economic, social and environmental progress, October 2005
Research paper: collaborating with civil society: reflections from Australia, October 2005
Research paper: comparison of methods for measuring the age of withdrawal from the labour force, November 2005
Research paper: quality-adjusted labour inputs, November 2005
Labour statistics: concepts, sources and methods, November 2005
Information paper: renovating the established house price index, November 2005
Information paper: a statistical view of counts of businesses in Australia, June 2005
Other selected releases
ABS statistical training
Points of contact

What's happening in Victoria

Message from the Regional Director

As we welcome the new year, we also bid farewell to 2005 which has been a very important year for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). ABS celebrated its centenary year in 2005 which is a significant achievement. It reflects that the ABS has been able to move with changes that have occurred in Australian society and continue to remain relevant and highly respected for our professionalism, service and integrity. The ABS enjoys a proud history as a trusted institution that has been a key contributor to an effective Australian democracy as we support better informed decision-making among governments and the community. Various centenary celebrations took place throughout the year culminating with the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Hon Peter Costello, MP joining the current Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin, on 8 December 2005 when ABS officially reached its 100th birthday.

Reaching this milestone is an opportune time to reflect on our past. On 8 December 1905, Parliament gave assent to the Census and Statistics Act 1905 leading to the establishment of the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. Under the Act, the Commonwealth and state Bureaus shared responsibility for the collection of statistics; the population census and some Commonwealth statistics became Commonwealth functions while other general statistics were still to be collected by the states. In order to progress the role of achieving uniform national statistics, the Commonwealth Bureau gradually began to take over responsibility for some branches of statistics beginning with commerce statistics based on shipping returns and vital statistics based on the state registers. In those first few decades the Commonwealth Bureau expanded its role and some of the states began to transfer their statistical functions to the Commonwealth. The Statistics (Arrangements with States) Act 1956 was passed on 12 May 1956 allowing for the provision of statistical services by the Commonwealth Bureau to state governments, in the same way that such needs had been provided by state Bureaus in the past. Two decades later, the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 was enacted and the Commonwealth Bureau became the ABS as we know it today. This established ABS as the central statistical authority for the Australian government, and, by arrangements, for the governments of the states.

Building on this great legacy we continue to work in close partnership with the Victorian State Government to produce the best set of statistics for Victoria. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues in state government for their continued cooperation and support, particularly members of the Victorian Statistical Advisory Forum.

Let me wish readers all the best for the festive season, and may you enjoy a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous new year. I look forward to the opportunity to work with Victorian State agencies again in 2006.

Vince Lazzaro, Regional Director, ABS, Victoria.

Victorian Statistical Advisory Forum meeting of 6/12/2005

The Victorian Statistical Advisory Forum (VSAF) held its final meeting for 2005 on Tuesday 6 December. Two new members were welcomed: Ms Jane Treadwell (Chief Information Officer of Victoria), and Mr Bill Fisher (Victorian Department of Primary Industries). Mr Vin Martin (Chair of VSAF and Victorian Government representative on the Australian Statistics Advisory Council [ASAC]) opened the meeting by informing members that 'CensusAtSchool' was officially launched on 20 October. He noted that 'CensusAtSchool' aims to promote the importance of statistical literacy among school students and extended his congratulations to ABS for this initiative.

Mr Vince Lazzaro (Regional Director, ABS Victoria Office) informed VSAF that ABS is celebrating its centenary this year, and a variety of activities to celebrate this milestone were being held this week. Highlights included Mr Dennis Trewin (Australian Statistician) launching the new ABS Corporate Plan and ABS history book 'Informing a Nation - The Evolution of the Australian Bureau of Statistics', and the Hon Peter Costello (MP, Treasurer Commonwealth of Australia) launching free comprehensive statistics on the ABS website.

Mr Vin Martin provided a verbal report to VSAF on the recent ASAC meeting, held in Canberra on 22 November, and noted that a comprehensive update on the 2006 Census of Population and Housing (2006 Census) was provided by ABS. Other issues of discussion included developments in relation to the recently established Statistical Leadership Unit; ABS cost recovery policy; ASAC's role in supporting ABS priority setting; and ABS's Business Longitudinal Database.

Mr Joseph Salvatore (Director, Statistical Coordination Branch, ABS Victoria) then led a discussion with VSAF members on 2006 State Statistical Priorities. Four new important priorities have emerged for 2006: emergency management, sustainability, community strength indicators, and a request to expand the 2011 Census 'journey to work' question.

The second half of the meeting included a series of presentations. The first was given by Mr Andrew Henderson (Director, ABS Census Field Organisation and Coordination) on the 2006 Census; and included new questions on the Census form, key dates, and new field collection strategy initiatives.

Mr Andrew Trembath (Victorian Department of Infrastructure) provided an outline of a request to include additional questions on the 2011 Census form, which aims to capture information on regular journeys, other than journeys to work (especially to and from educational institutions). A constructive discussion, facilitated by Mr Philip Norman (DoI), was recently held between ABS and various Victorian State Government representatives to progress this issue.

VSAF concluded with a presentation by Mr Peter Fuhrmann (Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance), giving an overview of Government finance statistics which included concepts (e.g. measures of government financial activity), the economic aggregates framework (e.g. sectors of government and institutional classifications), and data collection and reporting.
Annual 2005 Population Workshop held in Melbourne

A number of senior demographers from around the country and New Zealand were recently brought together in Melbourne for the annual Australia-New Zealand Population Workshop. Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) hosted this year's Workshop during 15-17 November, followed by the ABS hosted Population Estimates Technical Workshop on 18 November. These workshops involve representatives from Australia's States and Territories and New Zealand, and cover issues of common interest relating to understanding and measuring demographic change.

Presentations were delivered on a variety of topics, ranging from fertility rate trends and population projections to national internal migration surveys. Representatives from DSE talked about work being done to produce the Victorian Metro and Regional Atlases, while the New Zealand representatives covered changing regional populations and new statistical methods for estimating population change.

ABS gave a number of presentations throughout the conference. These included discussion of the new methodology for measuring international migration, and a session devoted to changes and improvements being implemented for the 2006 Census. The conference also heard about potential methods for improving preliminary births estimates, and a progress report on developing a method for estimating migration within Victoria using Medicare data. The workshop provided a useful means of exchanging information about demographic work taking place across Australia, and served to bring key stakeholders up to date on work in this area.

Victorian community indicators move toward becoming reality

During December 2005, the Victorian Community Indicators Project (VCIP) team held extensive discussion on future strategic directions and issues. The team has taken on board feedback received from wide-ranging community consultation conducted over recent months. This has taken the form of quite extensive bilateral discussions between team members and many stakeholders, along with special forums on VCIP hosted by various local governments. The central consultative document prepared by the project team, has been the paper 'Measuring Well-being, Engaging Communities' (Nov 2005). This and much more information about the project will be found on the project website at <www.communityindicators.net.au>. Considerable refinement of the Illustrative Framework of Victorian Community Indicators is being undertaken in the wake of this consultative process.

ABS Victoria is extensively involved in the project's data side, where efforts are continuing to obtain a reliable 5-10 year time series around each of the framework's 100+ indicators. There is also ongoing discussion about which indicators might comprise a core set of perhaps 30 to 40 indicators. Issues of possible reporting burden at local government level are also being discussed. The State-wide consultation process of recent months has also raised issues of whether data providing insights into key characteristics of people, such as gender, age and disability can be more fully available under the overall framework. How community indicators might be built into overall planning responsibilities of local government, in particular, is also being examined. The more extensive use of administrative data (much of it State agency based) is a likely result of VCIP. There is also a definite possibility that a regular community survey will be proposed, possibly in conjunction with a State agency, to help fill data gaps not covered by ABS, administrative and other data sources.

Another point of discussion concerns development into the future of infrastructure arrangements for community indicators work. It is likely that the team's report will propose establishing a Victorian Community Indicators Centre in a university. This will provide a home for the indicators where they can be further refined and their usage and influence developed. The centre would also be a base for managing data flows needed to support the indicators, along with other data issues. It is likely that the centre would publish a regular review of the overall state of community well-being across Victoria, and link with similar initiatives in other States and beyond.

Contact Neil McLean, ABS VCIP representative, on Melbourne (03) 9615 7364 or email <neil.mclean@abs.gov.au>.
Treasurer Peter Costello announces free access to ABS data on the web

In July 2005, published data released on ABS's website was made available free, as a result of additional funding from the 2005 Federal Budget. On the anniversary of ABS's centenary (8/12/2005), Hon. Peter Costello MP announced free access to the full range of electronic ABS data on www.abs.gov.au, continuing the improved availability of official statistics to all Australians. From 12 December 2005, everyone was able to download all ABS data on the ABS website without charge.

People have access to an expanded range of data on the ABS website, including:
  • electronic publications (PDF and HTML based content),
  • Census Community Profiles down to Collection District level,
  • time series spreadsheets, and
  • other spreadsheets and data cubes.

Victoria's water storages

Victoria's water storages at the end of September 2005 were at 56.9% of capacity. Total water storage levels rose by 9.8% in September 2005, and remain 10.9% higher than in September 2004. Melbourne's water storage previously reached over 60% capacity in December 2000. Rural Water Authority storages have exhibited a greater volatility over time, with storage levels at 53.5% of capacity in September 2005. Total rural water storages increased by 9.0% in September 2005, and remain 8.4% higher than in September 2004.

Graph: Melbourne and rural water storage volumes, per cent of capacity by month.

An index of past SRIV feature articles is presented below. For these and other statistics on Victorian social, economic and environmental indicators see 'State and Regional Indicators, Victoria' (SRIV, cat. no. 1367.2).

Index of SRIV feature articles

March Quarter 2002Part-time employment in Victoria
June Quarter 20022001 Census geography issues
September Quarter 2002Population change in Victoria, 1991-2001
June Quarter 2003Housing trends in Melbourne, 1999-2002
September Quarter 2003Estimating workplace growth from Workcover data
March Quarter 2004Children aged 0-8 years in Victoria
June Quarter 2004Building activity and interest rates
September Quarter 2004Summary of findings from the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey
June Quarter 2005Criminal court outcomes, 2003-2004
September Quarter 2005The Victorian population, 1836-2005

3222.0 Population Projections, Australia, 2004 to 2101. Released 29/11/2005

This publication contains projections of Australia's population by age and sex for the period 2004-2101, and projections of the states, territories and capital cities/balances of state for 2004-2051. Three main series of projections are presented.

Australia's estimated resident population of 20.1 million people at June 2004 is projected to increase to between 24.9 and 33.4 million in 2051, and to between 22.4 and 43.5 million in 2101. Series A projects the highest growth, while in Series C Australia's population reaches a peak of 24.9 million in 2048, then declines. In Series B, all states and territories except Tasmania and South Australia are projected to continuously increase in population to 2051. South Australia's population will peak in 2032 and Tasmania's in 2024. Queensland is projected to increase by 77%, the Northern Territory by 75% and Western Australia by 60%. New South Wales will remain the most populous state in Australia, while Queensland is projected to replace Victoria as the second most populous state in 2041. Western Australia will increase its share of Australia's population, while South Australia's and Tasmania's shares will decline.

Contact Matthew Montgomery on Canberra (02) 6252 6487 or email
3301.0 Births, Australia, 2004. Released 16/11/2005

In 2004, there were 254,200 births registered in Australia. This was an increase of 3,100 births on 2003, and the highest since 1995. During 2004, Queensland recorded the largest increase in number of births (up 1,600 on 2003), followed by Victoria (up 1,400) and Western Australia (up 1,000). Small increases were recorded in Tasmania and ACT; while there were fewer births in New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory.

The increase in total fertility rate (to 1.77 babies per woman, 2004) was largely due to births to women aged 30 to 39 years, with fertility rates in this age range returning to levels last observed in the mid 1960s. Women aged 30-34 experienced the highest fertility of all age groups, increasing from 112.5 babies per 1,000 women in 2003 to 114.4 in 2004. Fertility of women aged 35-39 increased from 54.3 babies per 1,000 women in 2003 to 57.4 in 2004, exceeding the fertility of women aged 20-24 (53.4 babies per 1,000 women, 2004) for the first time.

Contact Joanna Forster-Jones on Canberra (02) 6252 5117 or email <joanna.forster-jones@abs.gov.au>.
3302.0 Deaths, Australia, 2004. Released 7/12/2005

There were 132,500 deaths registered in Australia in 2004. The 2004 standardised death rate (6.3 deaths per 1,000 population) was the lowest on record, slightly lower than that in 2003 (6.4) and down 32.6% from 1984 (9.3). The highest standardised death rate in 2004 was in the Northern Territory (8.2), while the lowest was Australian Capital Territory (5.6).

The combined Australian male and female life expectancy of new-born babies in 2002-2004 was 80.5 years. This was higher than in Canada (80 years), New Zealand and United Kingdom (both 79 years), and United States of America (77 years). The 2004 infant mortality rate of 4.7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births was only slightly lower than the 2003 rate (4.8), and almost half the 1984 rate (9.2). In 2001, males and females aged 15 years and over who had never married (11.9 and 7.3 per 1,000 same population, respectively) had standardised death rates much higher than their married counterparts (7.0 and 4.1, respectively). Over the past 20 years, life expectancy has improved by 5.6 years for males and 4.0 years for females. A boy born in 2002-2004 can expect to live 78.1 years while a girl can expect to live 83.0 years.

Contact Shahidullah on Canberra (02) 6252 5129 or email <m.shahidullah@abs.gov.au>.
3307.0.055.001 Divorces, Australia, 2004, Electronic delivery. Released 11/11/2005

There were 54,000 divorces granted in Australia in 2002, representing a decrease of 2% (or 1,300 divorces) compared with 2001 (55,300). The crude divorce rate in 2002 was 2.7 per 1,000 population, a slight increase on the rate of 10 years ago (2.6 per 1,000). The median age of men at divorce was 42.2 years, and for women 39.5 years. If a newly-born group of babies was exposed to 1997-1999 rates of marriage, widowing, divorce, remarriage and mortality, 32% of their marriages would end in divorce. This is an increase on the proportion expected if 1990-1992 rates (29%) or 1985-1987 (28%) rates applied. The median duration of marriage to separation in 2002 was 8.6 years, and median duration of marriage to divorce 12.0 years.

Contact Stephanie Callaghan on Brisbane (02) 3222 6047 or email <stephanie.callaghan@abs.gov.au>
4517.0 Prisoners in Australia, 2005. Released 15/12/2005

This publication presents National Prisoner Census information about persons held in Australian prisons on the night of 30 June 2005. The National Prisoner Census covers all prisoners in legal custody of adult corrective services, including periodic detainees in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory; but excluding persons held in juvenile institutions, psychiatric custody and police custody. These statistics provide a profile of the demographic characteristics, legal status and sentence details of Australian prisoners.

There were 25,400 people in adult prisons in Australia as at 30 June 2005. Men were almost 14 times more likely to be in prison than women (23,600 men and 1,700 women). The number of male prisoners increased by 5% (or 1,100 prisoners) from 30 June 2004, while female prisoners increased 4% (62 prisoners). Overall, the adult imprisonment rate increased to 163 prisoners per 100,000 adult population (up from 157 last year). The majority (60% or 15,300) of prisoners in custody had served a sentence in an adult prison prior to the current episode. Over half (51% or 10,400) of sentenced prisoners were sentenced in the 12 months preceding 30 June 2005. State and territory data is also freely available through the ABS website.

Contact Marika Woodberry on Melbourne (03) 9615 7601 or email <crime.justice@abs.gov.au>.
4602.0 Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices, March 2005. Released 29/11/2005

This publication presents information on environmental behaviour and practices of Australian households and individuals in March 2005. This edition focuses on "Energy use and conservation" and covers a range of issues including energy sources, energy use, and energy saving measures in households. Other areas covered include: dwelling characteristics that alter energy use consumption and behaviour, heaters and coolers, types of household appliances used and support to the green power scheme.

Household energy consumption accounts for nearly 12% of the final energy consumed in Australia. In 1974-75, residential energy consumption was recorded at 246 peta joules; in 2003-04, such consumption increased to 420 peta joules (ABARE 2005). There has been a modest increase in the use of insulation, from 52% of dwellings in 1994 to 60% in 2005. Electricity was the main energy source for cooking (54%) and hot water systems (51%), but gas remains the main source of energy for space heating (34%). Solar energy was utilised by 5% of households nationally. Households with air conditioners increased from 33% of dwellings in 1994 to 60% in 2005.

Contact Michael Vardon on Canberra (02) 6252 7348 or email <michael.vardon@abs.gov.au>.
4618.0 Water Use on Australian Farms, 2003-04, Electronic publication. Released 27/11/2005

Agriculture industry is the major water consumer in Australia's economy accounting for two-thirds of water consumption in 2000-01. This publication presents estimates of agricultural water use, sources of irrigation water, irrigation methods, and water traded in Australia in 2003-04. The estimates were compiled from data collected as part of the annual Agricultural Survey for year ended 30 June 2004. Data is available for each state.

Contact Ron Just on Hobart (03) 6222 5842 or email <ron.just@abs.gov.au>.
7111.0 Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2004-05. Released 30/11/2005

Preliminary estimates for 2004-05 show increases in Australian area planted for wheat, barley, canola, grain sorghum and cotton. Decreases in area planted occurred for oats, lupins for grain, sugar cane for crushing and rice. Harvests for many principal crops fell from the previous year's highs despite increased plantings, with dry conditions reported in many areas during the 2004 winter months. Meat cattle and sheep numbers increased slightly, while milk cattle numbers fell slightly and pig numbers remained steady.

Contact Ian Hilly on Hobart (03) 6222 5855 or email <ian.hilly@abs.gov.au>.
8161.055.001 Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register, Counts of Businesses - Summary Tables, June 2004, Electronic delivery. New issue. Released 7/10/2005

At June 2004, there were 3,015,318 active businesses on ABS's Business Register. Some 837,078 (28%) businesses were employing, and 2,178,240 (72%) non-employing. Property and business services had 171,182 (20%) employing businesses, followed by Retail trade with 126,160 (15%) and Construction with 113,426 (14%). For non-employing businesses, the greatest number occurred in Property and business services (549,650; 25%), Finance and insurance (366,677; 17%) and Construction (348,814; 16%).

The majority of employing businesses had between 0 and 19 employees (754,504; 90%), while 77,656 (9%) businesses had 20 to 199 employees and 4,918 (1%) had 200+ employees. Of total businesses, only 38,920 (1%) stated that they operate from locations in more than one state. NSW (1,054,176; 35%) had the largest number of businesses, followed by Victoria (756,763; 25%) and Queensland (568,817; 19%). See also cat. no. 8161.0.55.002 (industry by main state by employment size) and 8161.0.55.003 (postcode by industry division by employment size).

Contact Kate Devlin on Melbourne (03) 9615 7506 or email <kate.devlin@abs.gov.au>.
8221.2.55.001 Manufacturing Industry, Victoria, 2001-02, Electronic delivery. New issue. Released 21/11/2005

Presents final Manufacturing Survey results for Victoria, 2001-02. Included are details of wages and salaries, sales and service income, and industry value added, classified by ANZSIC (industry) class. Also includes data for Statistical Divisions in Victoria, at industry subdivision level. Replaces: cat. no. 8221.2.

Contact John Ridley in Sydney on (02) 9268 4541 or email <john.ridley@abs.gov.au>.
9309.0 Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, 31 March 2005. Released 17/11/2005

There were 13.9 million motor vehicles, including motorcycles, registered in Australia at 31 March 2005. This represents an increase of 11.6% since the 2001 Motor Vehicle Census (MVC), when there were 12.5 million vehicles registered in Australia. The average annual growth over this time was 2.8%. New South Wales had the largest share of Australian fleet with 4.2 million vehicles registered (30.0% of total), followed by Victoria with 3.6 million (26.2%) and Queensland with 2.8 million (19.9%); which was comparable with population distribution across states and territories. There were 686 motor vehicles per 1,000 resident population in Australia in 2005, compared with 645 per 1,000 in 2001; representing an increase of 41 vehicles per 1,000 residents (6.4%) over this time.

Contact Wendy Cooper in Brisbane on (07) 3222 6361 or email wendy.cooper@abs.gov.au>

1295.0 Information Paper: ANZSIC 2006 Implementation, 2006. New issue. Released 14/11/2005

This paper gives an overview of ABS's program for implementing the revised Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006. It outlines strategies that will be used to incorporate ANZSIC 2006 into a range of statistical data series. The strategies will ensure that analysis of ANZSIC 2006 based movements can be undertaken for collections with a time-series aspect, prior to the first release of the data using the new classification. The National Accounts will be recompiled on an ANZSIC 2006 basis.

Contact Paul McCulloch, Canberra (02) 6252 5964 or email <paul.mcculloch@abs.gov.au>.
1351.0.55.006 Research Paper: Small Area Estimation of Disability in Australia, October 2005, Electronic delivery. New issue. Released 13/10/2005

This paper discusses methodological approaches undertaken in the application of existing small area methods to the topic of disability. This paper firstly discusses the context of small area estimation in Australia. It then details the various small area models applied to disability data. It uses a simple demographic synthetic estimator in addition to a multivariate Poisson GLMM and a Bernoulli GLM. The latter two models are estimated using hierarchical Bayesian methods. It then presents a set of diagnostic measures, found in the literature, which were used to assess the quality of small area estimates produced by these models. Finally, a comparison is drawn of these models' performance against the diagnostic measures used. The presented results are still preliminary. Priorities for future work to improve these models are discussed.

Contact Daniel Elazar on Canberra (02) 6252 6962 or email <daniel.elazar@abs.gov.au>.
1351.0.55.007 Research Paper: Beyond GDP: Measures of Economic, Social and Environmental Progress, October 2005, Electronic delivery. New issue. Released 20/10/2005

The second issue of 'Measures of Australia’s Progress' (MAP) was released in April 2004. It provides a digestible selection of statistical evidence that allows Australians to make their own assessment of whether life in Australia is getting better. This publication describes ABS work in this area, and why there was a need to measure progress. It tells the story of how the MAP publication was developed and runs through some of the key information included in the 2004 edition.

Contact Alanna Sutcliffe on Canberra (02) 6252 5506 or email <alanna.sutcliffe@abs.gov.au>.
1351.0.55.008 Research Paper: Collaborating with Civil Society: Reflections from Australia, October 2005, Electronic delivery. New issue. Released 20/10/2005

There are many reasons why those working on indicator initiatives have an interest in civil society. But two reasons stand out as particularly important. First, representatives from civil society can play a key role in shaping an initiative and are often important users of the indicators themselves. Second, the health of a country’s civil society can impact on the progress a nation makes in many areas of economic, social and environmental concern. This paper discusses both aspects, though it focuses on the former. It begins by discussing the role civil society has played in developing three significant, but rather different, indicator initiatives in Australia: ABS’s Measures of Australia’s Progress; the Victorian State Government’s Growing Victoria Together; and the Tasmanian State Government’s Tasmania Together. As well as discussing why governments and civil society collaborate, it covers the styles of collaboration that work best from both parties’ perspectives. It goes on to present material that highlights Australian thinking around indicators of progress in the areas of social cohesion and governance, democracy and citizenship: areas that are intimately related to the health of our civil society.

Contact Alanna Sutcliffe on Canberra (02) 6252 5506 or email <alanna.sutcliffe@abs.gov.au>.
1351.0.55.009 Research Paper: Comparison of Methods for Measuring the Age of Withdrawal from the Labour Force, November 2005, Electronic delivery. New issue. Released 10/11/2005

At what age do Australians withdraw from the labour force? How should this age be measured? This paper investigates three methods for calculating the age of labour force withdrawal for people aged 45-84 years using Labour Force Survey data from 1981-2003. Two methods produce estimates of ‘expected age of withdrawal’, and the third estimates ‘average age’ of labour force withdrawal in each year. The ‘expected age’ is closely linked to participation rates, while the ‘average age’ shows a strong relationship between withdrawal age and labour market conditions.

Contact Joanne Baker on Canberra (02) 6252 5061 or email <joanne.baker@abs.gov.au>.
1351.0.55.010 Research Paper: Quality-adjusted Labour Inputs, November 2005, Electronic delivery. New issue. Released 17/11/2005

This paper reports improved labour inputs and labour productivity estimates by reflecting changes in skill level of the workforce. It uses human capital theory to quantify the contribution of different labour force skills to total labour inputs.

Contact Dr Shiji Zhao on Canberra (02) 6252 6053 or email <shiji.zhao@abs.gov.au>.
6102.0.55.001 Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, November 2005, Electronic delivery. Released 15/12/2005

This publication provides a comprehensive description of the concepts, sources and methods used in compiling Australian labour statistics. It also discusses various statistical measures that are available, how they relate to each other, and factors influencing their accuracy and reliability.

Contact Fiona Johnson on Canberra (02) 6252 7622 or email <fiona.johnson@abs.gov.au>.
6417.0 Information Paper: Renovating the Established House Price Index, November 2005. New issue. Released 30/11/2005

This information paper describes 2004 review outcomes. It discusses general issues related to measuring house prices, and describes data used in compiling the renovated house price index and methodology changes. The first issue of 'House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities' (cat no 6416.0) incorporating these outcomes was published on 2/12/2005.

Contact Mark King on Canberra (02) 6252 5342 or email <mark.king@abs.gov.au>.
8162.0 Information Paper: A Statistical View of Counts of Businesses in Australia, June 2005. New issue. Released 7/10/2005

There is a wide range of official business counts available from government agencies in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) are three examples of official bodies which produce a variety of business counts. These figures range from as high as 5.2 million (the cumulative number of records on the Australian Business Register since it was established) to as low as 1.4 million (the number of registered companies reported by ASIC). The purpose of this paper is to provide analysts of business counts with a brief explanation of the main differences between the available counts and, by doing so, guide users to the most appropriate source for their particular statistical purposes.

Contact Helen Harkin on Canberra (02) 6252 6531 or email <helen.harkin@abs.gov.au>.

Australian Bureau of Statistics -- Annual Report, 2004-05. Released 11/10/2005
Australian Statistics Advisory Council - Annual Report, 2004-05. Released 14/10/2005

Vineyards Estimates, Australia, Preliminary, 2004-05, Electronic publication.
Released 14/10/2005

Informing a Nation: the Evolution of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2005.
Released 31/10/2005
Life Tables, Victoria, 2002-2004, 2004, Electronic delivery. Released 7/12/2005

Causes of Death, Australia: Summary Tables, 2004, Electronic delivery.
Released 7/12/2005
Marriages, Australia, 2004, Electronic delivery (data cube). Released 14/10/2005

Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2003-04 (Reissue), Electronic delivery.
Released 3/11/2005
Corrective Services, Australia, September 2005. Released 2/12/2005
Australian System of National Accounts, 2004-05. Released 7/11/2005
Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2004-05. Released 9/11/2005
Venture Capital, Australia, 2004-05. Released 28/11/2005
Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 2003-04. Released 28/11/2005

Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register, Counts of Businesses -
Industry by Main State by Employment Size Ranges, June 2004, Other media.
New issue. Released 7/10/2005

Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register, Counts of Businesses -
Postcode by Industry Division by Employment Size, June 2004, Other media.
New issue. Released 7/10/2005

Manufacturing Industry: Business Performance by ANZSIC Class (Data Cube Only); Australia;
2001-02 and 2002-03. Released 1/11/2005
8905.0Australia's Welfare, 2005 (Produced by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).
Charges apply. Released 30/11/2005

Main Economic Indicators (MEI's). Also released during the past quarter were a number of monthly and quarterly MEIs which can be accessed from the ABS website home page <www.abs.gov.au>. Examples of MEIs include: housing finance, labour force, consumer price index and retail trade.

Free ABS publications online. From 1 July 2005, all ABS electronic publications (both PDF and HTML based content) published from 1998 onwards, along with electronic "publication tables" in spreadsheet or data-cube format, are available free from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>. Printed copies still carry a price, but most products are available electronically.

Each ABS office offers practical, informative and relevant training to help you develop your statistical skills. This training is primarily targeted to public sector bodies.

What courses are available at ABS Victoria?
  • Basic Statistical Analysis
  • Turning Data Into Information
  • Making Quality Informed Decisions
  • Basic Survey Design
  • Understanding Demographic Data
  • Understanding 2001 Census Data
  • Understanding Labour Statistics
  • Using ABS Datacubes

2006 Training Program

Turning Data Into Information (TDII)
This course develops skills in interpreting, displaying and communicating data clearly and effectively. Analytical thinking skills are developed to enable the transformation of data into meaningful written information.

Course Length: 2 Days
Course Fee: $550.00
Course Dates: 8 & 9 March, 2006 and 2 & 3 August, 2006

Making Quality Informed Decisions (MQID)
This course introduces the concept of 'wholistic quality' through the use of data quality framework for a statistical collection. The framework ensures that users of statistics are able to assess whether the statistics are fit for their intended use. This course aims to provide a framework to evaluate the quality of available data sources and use this knowledge in the decision-making process.

Course Length: 1 Day
Course Fee: $325.00
Course Date: 3 May, 2006 and 18 October, 2006

Basic Survey Design (BSD)
This course aims to provide a broad overview of all facets of survey development. Topics include developing survey objectives, advantages and disadvantages of various collection methodologies, questionnaire design, data processing, reporting of results and management of the design process.

Course Length: 2 Days
Course Fee: $550.00
Course Dates:22 & 23 June, 2006 and 28 & 29 November, 2006

Basic Survey Analysis (BSA)
This computer based course develops practical skills in summarising and displaying survey data in graphical and tabular form. It provides the tools for finding simple relationships in survey data and testing for statistically significant differences in past and current survey results.

Course Length: 2 Days
Course Fee: $550.00
Course Date: 5 & 6 September, 2006

For further information regarding statistical training, nominations and bookings or to discuss your specific training needs, please contact Maxine McDermott on Melbourne (03) 9615 7080 or email <vic.coordination@abs.gov.au>.

Victorian Statistics Advisory Forum (VSAF)

VSAF is a major forum for statistical liaison between Victorian Government Agencies and ABS. The following group of departmental representatives meet 3 times each year.

Departmental Representatives

VSAF Chairperson
Department of Treasury and Finance
Vin Martin
email <Vin.Martin@dtf.vic.gov.au>

Department of Treasury and Finance
Peter Fuhrmann
email <peter.fuhrmann@dtf.vic.gov.au>

Department of Premier and Cabinet
Donald Speagle
email <donald.speagle@dpc.vic.gov.au>

Jane Treadwell

Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
Patrick Webb
email <patrick.webb@iird.vic.gov.au>

Department of Education and Training
Ian Burrage
email <burrage.ian.n@edumail.vic.gov.au>

Department of Human Services Victoria
Dr Robert Brazenor
email <robert.brazenor@dhs.vic.gov.au>

Department of Justice
Dr Roslyn Kelleher
email <roslyn.kelleher@justice.vic.gov.au>

Department of Infrastructure
Philip Norman
email <philip.norman@doi.vic.gov.au>

Department for Victorian Communities
Dr David Adams
email <david.adams@dvc.vic.gov.au>

Joanne Duffy
email <joanne.duffy@dvc.vic.gov.au>

Department of Sustainability and Environment
John Hanna
email <john.hanna@dse.vic.gov.au>

Department of Primary Industries
Bill Fisher
email <bill.fisher@dpi.vic.gov.au>

ABS Victoria
Vince Lazzaro
email <tim.brennan@abs.gov.au>

Contact points for ABS in Victoria

1900 986 400 ($0.77 per minute)

National Information and Referral Service
1300 135 070
email <client.services@abs.gov.au>

Postal address
GPO Box 2796Y
Melbourne Vic 3001

ABS website

Regional Director
ABS Victoria
Vince Lazarro
(03) 9615 7345
email <tim.brennan@abs.gov.au.

Statistical Coordination Branch
Joseph Salvatore
(03) 9615 7924
email <joseph.salvatore@abs.gov.au>

Assistant Director
Neil McLean
(03) 9615 7463
email <neil.mclean@abs.gov.au>

Assistant Director
Antonella Caruso
(03) 9615 7860
email <antonella.caruso@abs.gov.au>

Assistant Director (a/g)
Christine Sergi
(03) 9615 7695
email <c.sergi@abs.gov.au>

Statistics Victoria Editor
Alan Page
(03) 9615 7899
email <alan.page@abs.gov.au>

Spread the news electronically

Copies of Statistics Victoria are available free for electronic dissemination. There are two ways to access an electronic copy of the newsletter:

1. Elect to receive your copy of this newsletter in PDF format by contacting Alan Page on (03) 9615 7899 or email <alan.page@abs.gov.au>. The ABS encourages further dissemination of this newsletter through email, or by its placement on your organisation's intranet.

2. Go to the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>. Select 'News & Media' then 'ABS Newsletters' and then 'Statistics Victoria'. You can access current and previous copies of Statistics Victoria, as well as many other ABS newsletters.