1376.0 - Local Government and ABS (Newsletter), Apr 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/04/2006   
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In this issue:

About this newsletter

Local Government and ABS is a quarterly newsletter created by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) aimed at helping the Local Government Sector use statistics to assist with planning and other community servicing decisions.

The specific aims of this newsletter are to:
    • Help you easily find information on the ABS website and explain the structure of the ABS website;
    • Provide direct electronic links to statistical series of use to local government. Electronic links are coloured and underlined and can be activated using the mouse button;
    • Explain statistical terms to help make sense of more complex data;
    • Provide a central contact point where you can provide your views and suggestions as to how the ABS can better assist local government.

This is a free newsletter and we encourage you to forward it to others and post it on your bulletin board. Anyone is welcome to receive Local Government and ABS.

To subscribe:
send an email to rex.porter@abs.gov.au with "subscribe Local Government and ABS" in the subject line.

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter:
send an email to rex.porter@abs.gov.au with "unsubscribe Local Government and ABS" in the subject line.

To find this newsletter on the ABS Website:
    • Select News and Media from the main menu at the top or bottom of the screen.
    • At the next page choose ABS Newsletters.
    • Then choose the appropriate edition under Local Government and ABS.

What is the population of your area?

The ABS has recently released information about the estimated resident population, at 30 June 2005, for small areas including Statistical Divisions (SD), Statistical Local Areas (SLA) and Local Government Areas (LGA).

Tables containing the Estimated Resident Population figures at the LGA and SD level are now available for free from the following ABS publication, which is available to download from the ABS website.
Regional Population Growth, Australia 2004-05 (Cat. No. 3218.0).

Data at the LGA and SLA level are also available for free in Excel and Supertable formats in the following electronic publication:
Regional Population Growth, Australia, Electronic Delivery, June 2005 (Cat. No. 3218.0.55.001)

The main points of the 2005 data include:
    • At June 2005, Australia's resident population was estimated to be 20.3 million, an increase of 237,100 from June 2004. This was a 1.2% increase on the 2004 estimated resident population, which matches the average annual growth rate for the 5 years to June 2005.
    • All states and territories experienced population growth in 2004-05, with the largest increases taking place in Queensland (up 75,900 people), Victoria (up 59,400 people), and New South Wales (up 53,500 people).
    • During 2004–05, South East Queensland recorded the highest population growth in Australia. Brisbane and Moreton Statistical Divisions (SD) together increased by 53,300 people, equating to an average increase of just over 1,000 people per week.
    • The cities of Brisbane and Gold Coast grew by 13,300 and 12,600 people respectively, the two largest increases in population of all Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia.
    • Many coastal areas also recorded strong growth in 2004–05. In New South Wales the LGAs of Shoalhaven and Lake Macquarie increased by 2,000 and 1,300 people respectively, while in Queensland Cairns increased by 3,000 people and Caloundra increased by 2,800 people. Mandurah, to the south of Perth in Western Australia, increased by 3,400 people.
    • Inland regional centres such as Maitland (up 1,700 people) in New South Wales, Albury-Wodonga (up 1,000 people) on the New South Wales/Victorian border, Ballarat (up 1,800) and Greater Bendigo (up 1,600) in Victoria, and Toowoomba (up 1,800 people) in Queensland, all continued to gain population.
      For more information, please contact Andrew Howe on (08) 8237 7370 or by email : andrew.howe@abs.gov.au

Improving the Availability of Small Area Data - Information Development Plan for Rural and Regional Statistics
The ABS has released an Information Development Plan (IDP) for Rural and Regional Statistics. Information Paper: Regional Policy and Research in Australia - the Statistical Dimension, Information Development Plan for Rural and Regional Statistics, 2005 (Cat. no. 1362.0).

The IDP discusses:
  • the policy and research context for rural and regional data,
  • key user needs identified through an extensive consultation progress,
  • existing data sources, and
  • recommendations for statistical development.

There are ten recommendations covering economic and social data needs. The Information Development Plan clearly establishes where ABS and other major suppliers of information on regional issues can, in collaboration, make inroads into improved availability of regional statistics. The IDP will form the basis of ABS activity in developing new regional data over the next three years.
For further information contact Andrea Woods on (08) 8237 7368 or by email : andrea.woods@abs.gov.au

New information on regional wage and salary earners

The ABS has recently released new information on regional wage and salary earners for 2002-03. The data have been complied from the Australian Taxation Office's Individual Income Tax Return Database and are part of the ABS program to increase the range of regional statistics available, particularly through the use of administrative information from other government agencies.

There are two different products.

The first one, Regional Wage and Salary Earner Statistics, Australia, 2002-03 - Data cubes ( Cat. no. 5673.0.55.003)

presents data on persons whose main source of income is wages and salaries. Various cross-tabulations are available for characteristics such as:
  • age,
  • sex,
  • occupation,
  • wage and salary income, and
  • total income.
In this product data are for 2002-03. Data for earlier years are available.

Most of the data in these tables are presented for each Statistical Local Area (SLA) in Australia. Data are also available at the Local Government Area (LGA) level.

Key points for 2002-03:
  • Employees in the South Australian LGA of Roxby Downs (M) had the highest median wage and salary income at $51,507.
  • Wage and salary earners in the Western Australian LGA of Wickepin (S) had the lowest median wage and salary income.
  • A greater proportion of wage and salary earners employed as managers and administrators were male.
  • Of the LGAs with a wage and salary population of 100 persons or more, the Queensland LGA of Broadsound (S) had the highest proportion of wage and salary earners with an income from wages and salaries of $78,000 or more.

The second product is Characteristics of Wage and Salary Earners in Regions of Australia, 2002-03 (Cat. no. 6261.0.55.001)

This presents regional estimates of wage and salary earners using the Remoteness Structure contained within the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Volume 1, 2001.

The data presented illustrate the differences in the characteristics of employees living in urban, regional, and remote parts of Australia. This should provide regional analysts and service providers with insights about employment activity, occupations, and variations in wage and salary incomes across different age and occupation groups.

Overall, these data provide valuable and interesting information about the diversity of employees in different parts of the nation.

Key points for 2002-03:
  • The highest median annual wage and salary income for employees was in the remoteness area of Major Cities.
  • Outside of Major Cities, employees in Remote and Very Remote areas recorded higher median annual wage and salary incomes than employees in Inner Regional and Outer Regional Australia.
  • Median wage and salary incomes for males were higher than those for females in all remoteness areas.
  • Across all remoteness areas, median wage and salary income increased with age, peaking in the 45-54 year age group.

For further information please contact Kirsten Hastwell on (08) 8237 7369 or by email : kirsten.hastwell@abs.gov.au

Recent improvements to ABS Website

In early April 2006 the website introduced customised access to Google's search engine. See Search Tips for further information.

In late January 2006, the section of the site previously known as 'AusStats' became known as 'Statistics' and underwent a major redesign. For more information about the 'Statistics' section of the website see The ABS Website has Evolved

New Industry classification - ANZSIC 2006

The 2006 Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) has been developed for use in the compilation and analysis of industry statistics in Australia and New Zealand. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Statistics New Zealand (Statistics NZ) jointly developed this classification to improve the comparability of industry statistics between the two countries and with the rest of the world.

This 2006 edition of the ANZSIC replaces the 1993 edition, which was the first version produced. Prior to then, Australia and New Zealand had separate industry classifications.

ANZSIC 2006 reflects the outcome of a substantial review of the classification, which included extensive consultation with internal and external users and alignment with the upcoming revision of the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC, Revision 4). It consequently provides a more contemporary and internationally comparable industrial classification system.

ANZSIC 2006 is available as a publication Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 (Cat no. 1292.0)

Support tools such as the class change table, index of primary activities, hierarchical structure and correspondences are also available on the ABS Web site.

A new feature for ANZSIC 2006 is the availability of a search function on the ABS Web site. Users can now type in keywords and a list of possible ANZSIC codes with activity description will be displayed.

Similar to ANZSIC 1993, the ANZSIC Coder in CD-ROM will be available through ABS bookshops and the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS). This can also be ordered on-line through the ABS Web site. Users who need to install the ANZSIC Coder on their local area network can use this product.

For more information, contact the National Information and Referral Service (NIRS) at 1300 135 070 or email client.services@abs.gov.au

    Population Census Analysis Conference - "Making the most of your Census" : 18/19 July 2006

    This conference will enable users and potential users of Census data to discuss and learn about the analytical and research capabilities of Census data and to learn about new initiatives affecting the 2006 Census. The conference will also influence the ABS Census output program, particularly those components which support research use.

    The conference will be in Canberra on 18/19 July 2006. For more information see the link to "Making the most of the your Census" from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au.

      What's happening in Local Government Finance?


      The ABS' Local Government Statistics Unit (LGSU) recently finalised data and released results for the 2004-05 Local Government Finance Collection. Output includes consolidated financial statements for the Local Government Sector in each state/territory, together with a dissection of expenses by purpose. A publication in PDF format and Excel datacubes are available free of charge.

      Government Finance Statistics, Australia (Cat No. 5512.0)

      More detailed data is also available for purchase on request.

      The ABS thanks councils for their cooperation in providing data for this collection. Information provided is used in making important policy decisions concerning the sector and it is important that accurate and timely information is returned by councils in building this data set.

      Other upcoming events include the March cycle of the Quarterly Local Government Finance collection. The due date for councils to return the completed form will be 10 April, 2006. This is slightly earlier than in previous quarters to allow for a shortened processing period due to Easter and Anzac Day public holidays. Council cooperation to meet this earlier date would be greatly appreciated.

      Visits to Departments of Local Government and Grants Commissions

      Each year, the LGSU endeavours to meet with each of the state/territory Grants Commissions or Departments of Local Government to review the recently completed 2004-05 annual collection, and to commence preparations for the 2005-06 cycle. These meetings are currently being organised for May and June this year.

      Other Developments

      The ABS is currently looking at the possibility of expanding the annual collection of Local Government Finance statistics to incorporate data needs currently being met by other surveys of the local government sector. Possible areas for consolidation include environment statistics and recreation and culture statistics.

      The ABS will also be undertaking a review of the data items collected from councils in the Quarterly Local Government Finance collection. The aim of this review is to ensure that only essential data is collected from councils in the interest of minimising the burden of reporting placed on councils.


      Director: Sean Thompson [
      sean.thompson@abs.gov.au] (07) 3222 6257
      Assistant Director: Peter Ball [
      peter.ball@abs.gov.au] (07) 3222 6404

      2005-06 Agricultural Census - measuring the agricultural production of your area!

      The Agricultural Census for 2005-06 will involve about 190,000 farm businesses in most of nearly 700 Local Government Areas across Australia. This collection conducted by the ABS is second only in size to the Census of Population and Housing. However, unlike the Population Census, the Agricultural Census questionnaires will be posted out to farm businesses.

      Results of the Agricultural Census will provide valuable statistics on production, stock numbers, and some natural resource management at the Local Government Area level. As well, data on the value of the commodities produced within your region will be available. This information will be of assistance in planning, budgeting, planning advisory services and policy making relating to agricultural products and services.

      The ABS is seeking to provide information about the Agricultural Census to the community with the aim of ensuring a good response rate from farmers. The Agricultural Census is only conducted once every five years, so this is the best chance to get an accurate picture of production and stock numbers at the local level. Intercensal agricultural surveys cannot provide small area data with the same degree of confidence.

      If you are interested in further information about the Agricultural Census, a wealth of background information is available from the ABS. In particular, we have a series of informative press releases relating to different farm industries that are suitable for inclusion in local government magazines or newsletters.

      For specific information about the Agricultural Census, or for more information on how you can provide your community with further information, contact Jim Williamson, Assistant Director, Agriculture on (02) 6252 5830 or jim.williamson@abs.gov.au.

        Links to previous issues of Local Government and ABS

        Newsletter contact details

        This newsletter is one way to help improve communication between the ABS and the Local Government Sector. New ABS initiatives to assist local government organisations will be announced in this newsletter as they evolve. We would like your views and suggestions about this newsletter so that it remains useful and assists you to understand and use ABS statistics. Please email comments to
        rex.porter@abs.gov.au, or by telephone on (08) 8237 7416.