1344.8.55.002 - ABStract, Statistics News, Australian Capital Territory, Aug 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/08/2006   
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Graphic: ABStract

A Message from the Regional Director
Health risk factors: how ACT residents shape up
Statistical Training Courses Available in Canberra
Guide to finding ABS statistics on the Australian Capital Territory
Key ACT publications
Information from the Census
Census to take national snapshot on Tuesday 8th August
How to access
New questions in 2006
ABS Retail and Wholesale Economic Activity Survey 2005-06
New South Wales in Focus
The 13th biennial conference of the Australian Population Association
Expected Major Annual & Irregular Releases
Entry Points to the ABS ACT Office

A Message from the Regional Director

Welcome to our new look August 2006 issue of ABStract. The Census is days away with the big count being on August 8. The lead up to the Census has been very interesting for me and our Census team. We have been on many visits to ACT and region government agencies, business and community organisations to inform them about the Census and to gain insights from them about how we can best count people in our region. We have focussed on improving the counts of Indigenous people, members of our multicultural community, particularly new migrants, the homeless and people in secure access buildings.

I attended the NAIDOC week celebrations at Boomanulla Oval on July 2nd along with members of the Census team and our territory Indigenous Census Field Officer to promote the Census to the Indigenous community - this was a great success.

On July 3, in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Community Development, the ABS launched the Census to leaders and representatives of multicultural community organisations in the ACT and Queanbeyan to seek their assistance with promoting the Census in their communities. We had lots of interest on the night - after Nic Manikis and I talked about the Census we had queues of people asking questions and lots of people offering us assistance with the Census.

On July 18 and 19 I attended the Census Analysis Conference hosted by the ABS. The conference was designed to raise awareness of the analytical and research capabilities of Census data and to inform users about the 2006 Census. There was a real buzz at the conference as researchers talked about their use of Census data and potential use of meshblocks for overlaying the 2006 Census data with administrative data. If you are interested in more information about meshblocks please let me know. If you would like a copy of the CD-ROM with copies of the papers presented at the conference please contact victoria.allen@abs.gov.au.

For those who haven't already met Joanne I'd like to introduce our new outposted officer in ACT Government. Joanne Caddy is outposted to the Chief Ministers Department and is working with agencies on strategies to implement the "Agreed Statistical Priorities of the ACT Government: An Information Development Plan (IDP). Joanne and I, with key client managers for ACT Government Departments have been talking to a number of agencies about the best way to implement the principles in the IDP. We'll continue to have these discussions in August/September.

Over the past few months you may have noticed a lot of reporting in the press on Health and Mental Well-being in the ACT. In February 2006 the National Health Survey data from 04/05 started to be released. We were delighted that the ACT Government funded an increased sample size for the National Health Survey which has meant that there is a wealth of data on the ACT. Our office has put together two special articles on the ACT - Health Risk Factors: How ACT residents shape up and State of Mental Well-being in the ACT. These can be found on the ACT themes pages on the ABS website - www.abs.gov.au.

An upcoming conference of interest is the 13th biennial conference of the Australian Population Association (APA) which will be held in Adelaide from 5-8 December 2006. The theme of the conference is "Population, Policy and Australia's Destiny", and will be a showcase for demographers, population geographers, policy makers and planners to discuss contemporary issues relating to population studies. More information on the APA Conference can be found inside this issue.

Karen Vitullo.

Health risk factors: how ACT residents shape up

ACT residents are getting fatter with a greater proportion of overweight and obese people in the Territory than ever before, according to the National Health Survey 2004-05.

A recent ACT Stats publication using data focusing on the ACT indicated an increased number of ACT residents who reported 'overweight' and 'obese' Body Mass Indexes (BMI's) (see Notes). Men reported an increase in 'overweight' and 'obese' BMI's from 49% in 1995 to 56% in 2004-05, while women reported an increase from 33% to 42%.

graph: Body Mass Index of Males and Females in the ACT, 2004 - 05

(a) Population aged 18 years and over
Source: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, Australia, 2004-05 ( cat. no. 4364.0)

ACT residents were rated a mixed bag when it came to other health risk behaviours. The ACT had the largest (9%) proportion of people who exercised at 'high' exercise levels (see Notes) compared with the national level of 6%, and the lowest proportion of people exercising at 'sedentary' levels (23% compared to 34% nationally).

The ACT also had the lowest proportion (17%) of current smokers compared to the rest of Australia (23%).

Some of the other analysis included:
  • ACT residents reported slightly higher than average alcohol consumption patterns compared to the rest of Australia (53% consumed alcohol at low risk levels compared to the national average of 49%).
  • There had been an increase in risky drinking behaviour since 1995.
  • Nearly 60% of ACT residents regarded their health as either very good or excellent.

Further details are in ACT Stats, April 2006 (cat. no. 1344.8.55.001) available free of charge from the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>.

Body Mass Index (BMI): Calculated from reported height and weight information using the formulated weight (kg) divided by the square of height (m).
Exercise Levels
High: More than 3200 minutes of exercise plus 2 hours of more vigorous exercise in the past two weeks.
Sedentary: Less than 100 minutes (including no exercise) in the past two weeks.

Each ABS office offers practical, informative and relevant training to help you develop your statistical skills. These courses can also be tailored to suit your needs or additional programs can be developed as required. The ABS is pleased to offer the following courses in Canberra from August to December 2006:

Basic Statistical Analysis
OverviewThis two-day computer-based course develops practical skills in basic statistical and graphical data analysis techniques using Excel pivot tables. It aims to equip participants with the skills to:
  • identify the steps involved in data analysis;
  • summarise and display survey data in graphical and tabular form;
  • find simple relationships in survey data; and
  • test for statistically significant differences between survey results.
Is this course for me?This course is designed for people with limited training and exposure to statistical analysis who need to learn how to analyse and describe data that has been collected in surveys. A mathematical background is beneficial but not essential. Previous experience using spreadsheets is recommended.
Dates & Cost20-21 September 2006, $600 (inc. GST) per person

Making Quality Informed Decisions
OverviewNeed to introduce some quality into your statistical decision making? This one-day course introduces the concept of 'holistic quality' through the use of a data quality framework. The framework ensures that users of statistics are able to assess whether the statistics are fit for their intended use. This course will provide participants with an increased understanding of:
  • how to set up a quality framework;
  • risk management in making statistical decisions;
  • how to assess datasets in the context of data need; and
  • using information on data quality to make better informed decisions.
Is this course for me?This course would be useful for anyone who uses statistics in decision making, or is involved in producing statistics and wants to ensure that statistics are used appropriately.
Dates & Cost29 August, $350 (inc. GST) per person

Principles of Questionnaire Design
OverviewThis two-day course aims to enable participants to understand and apply the basic techniques used in developing a survey questionnaire. The course will include facilitated exercises to give participants an understanding of how to design and evaluate a questionnaire. The course content covers:
  • defining survey objectives;
  • developing content based on survey objectives;
  • developing survey questions;
  • developing instructions to accompany questions;
  • arranging questions in a logical and orderly way;
  • testing the questionnaire; and
  • questionnaire layout.
Is this course for me?This course would be useful for anyone involved in designing and conducting a survey and wish to gain an understanding of how to design a questionnaire that will collect data accurately.
Dates & Cost21-22 November 2006, $600 (inc. GST) per person

    Turning Data Into Information
    OverviewThis two-day classroom course is intended to provide skills in interpreting, communicating and displaying data clearly and effectively. Participants will gain skills in transforming data into meaningful written information, particularly in respect to social policy issues. At the completion of this course participants will:
    • understand how the collection and compilation of data affects its usefulness, quality and relevance;
    • communicate results and prepare written reports;
    • construct good tables and graphs; and
    • recognise possible pitfalls in analysis.
    Is this course for me?This course will be most beneficial to people who need to use data to produce reports or social commentary, or people who are involved with monitoring and evaluation in a social context.
    Dates & Cost24 - 25 October 2006, $600 (inc. GST) per person

    Please tick below the course(s) you wish to attend.

    Making Quality Informed Decisions
    • 29 August 2006
    Basic Statistical Analysis
    • 20 - 21 September 2006
    Turning Data Into Information
    • 24 - 25 October 2006
    Principles of Questionnaire Design
    • 21 - 22 November 2006

    Name(s): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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    Department/Organisation: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Postal Address: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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    Contact Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Phone: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E-mail: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Payment Details
    All course attendance will be invoiced upon completion of the nominated course. An early-bird discount is available for participants who book 20 working days ahead of a course. Costs include all course materials, a light lunch as well as morning and afternoon tea.
    1 day course Full fee $350 (inc. GST) With early-bird discount: $325
    2 day course Full fee $600 (inc. GST) With early-bird discount: $550

    Cancellations, in writing, will be accepted 5 working days prior to the course. After this a cancellation fee of 50% of the course fee will be charged. Non-attendance without written notification of cancellation will result in the full fee being charged. Substitutions are allowed at any time.

    REGISTER TODAY by returning this completed form to:

    ACT Training Co-ordinator
    ACT Regional Office
    Australian Bureau of Statistics
    Locked Bag 10
    Belconnen ACT 2616


    (02) 6247 2389


    (02) 6252 8912 for further information
    Further Information
    For more information about course content, available dates for these courses in other capital cities around Australia, or details of how we may be able to tailor or offer a course to meet your specific needs:
    E-mail: national.statistical.training.institute@abs.gov.au
    Guide to finding ABS statistics on the Australian Capital Territory

    Looking for statistics on the ACT? The ABS provides information about Australian states and territories and about the regions that make up our States and Territories.

    On the ABS web site at www.abs.gov.au

    Key ACT publications:

    Australian Capital Territory in Focus (Cat. no. 1307.8)
    This is the premier reference guide for information on the ACT. It presents up-to-date
    relevant information on the social, demographic and economic structure of the ACT,
    drawn from both ABS and non-ABS sources.

    ACT and Region . . . A Statistical Atlas (Cat. No. 1381.8)
    Presents colour maps of key population, family and housing characteristics of Canberra. The maps are easy to interpret as the distribution of the data are represented by different colours or shadings. The data represents all Statistical Local Areas (suburbs) of Canberra and surrounding region. A brief commentary explaining the main features and characteristics also accompanies each map.

    Canberra ... A Social Atlas (Cat. no. 2030.8)
    Presents colour maps of the key social, demographic and economic characteristics of Canberra, at the time of the 2001 Census. A brief commentary explaining the main features and characteristics also accompanies each map.

    Tip: Some ABS national publications may also include information about the ACT.

    Regional statistics:
    National Regional Profiles for States/Territories (down to local government areas, suburbs, etc.) include data from ABS and other sources. Each profile includes information about land area, population, births and deaths, remoteness, unemployment, income support data, wage and salary earners, new vehicle sales and building approvals.
    • Click on ‘Main areas - by Name’ under ‘Regional Statistics’ on the left hand side of the ABS home page
    • Click on the ACT link for whole-of-ACT figures, or drill down to smaller areas
    • Double click to open and view
    • Alternatively, use the map provided by drilling down to the area you want

    The Theme page for the ACT:
    Provides useful links to help you select relevant ABS ACT products and services.
    • A web page that provides useful links to help you select relevant ABS products and services and useful links
    • From the ABS home page, click on the Themes link in the navigator bar near the top or bottom
    • Select the 'ACT' link under 'Regional Statistics'
    Use Search on the ABS Website:
    • You'll find the Search box at the top right hand side of the ABS Home page. Try entering 'Australian Capital Territory'.
    • The Google Advanced Search facility offers more options. Open Google and select ‘Advanced Search’. Type your search terms in the boxes provided. Include the phrase 'Australian Capital Territory'. Important: in the Domain box type: ‘site:abs.gov.au’.
    • Your search will be limited to the ABS web site.
    Information from the Census
      Census on the web
    • From the ABS home page, select Census from the top or bottom of the page.
    • Click on 2001 Census Data by Location Name or Map.
    • Open the blue 'twisty' next to 'Australian Capital Territory' and drill down to the area you want.
    • Click on the link. The Summary tab has a useful 'Snapshot' of the area you've chosen. Take time to look at the Snapshot, as the information is quite extensive and may be all you need.
    • Click on the 'Details' tab. You will be given the option to download various census Profiles. The Basic Community Profile contains data covering most topics asked in the census, so may be a good place to start.
    • Click on the Download link of the Profile you want. Be patient as there may be a lot of data to download! Data may be in zipped files, so you will need unzipping software such as WinZip on your PC.
    • Double click on the Excel file link to open.
    • All tables are displayed at once and you need to click on table tabs (B01, B02, etc.) to open each topic. Hint: to find out which table you need, use the horizontal scroll bar to go to the Subject Index tab (towards the left). For example, B08 is the table for 'Languages spoken at home'. Then scroll back and click on the tab you need.

      Current Awareness

      Would you like to know about new releases? Subscribe to the free ABS Email Notification Service. You'll find the link on the ABS home page. The ABS web site is updated at 11.30am (AEST) every day. You'll be sent an email alerting you to daily releases in your area of interest. Or use the RSS feed option to have new ABS web content 'pushed' to you.

      Need more help?
    • Call the ABS National Information Referral Service on 1300 135 070. This service provides published data that can be provided within 5 minutes free of charge.
    • Check out the online Help from all ABS web site pages.

    Census to take national snapshot on Tuesday 8th August

    Every household in Australia will be filling in a Census form on Tuesday 8th August as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) takes its snapshot of the nation.

    The sole exception will be diplomatic staff, who are not included in Australia’s largest count.

    The Census of Population and Housing is run every five years and gives decision makers and planners a detailed look at the Australian population.

    Statistics are also available down to below the suburb level to help local planners and business operators understand their community.

    The number of seats each state and territory has in the House of Representatives is also based on Census data. This information is also used for distributing Commonwealth funds to the states and territories.

    All information given on the Census form remains private, and is not released to anyone outside the ABS. The only exception is if people explicitly mark on their Census form that they want their information stored in the National Archives and released in 99 years.

    Over 500 field staff are now recruited, trained and ready to deliver Census forms across the ACT. Around 30,000 field staff have been recruited nationally.

    Our statistical foot soldiers will be dropping off forms from 28th July until 7th August.

    The ACT Office has also been engaging the local community to raise awareness and support of the Census.

    Staff from the ACT Office have met with a large number of community organisations and government departments, as well as coordinating events such as the recent ACT Census Multicultural Awareness evening.

    Data collected from the 2006 Census will be released in late 2007.

    The ABS will also be running Census Output awareness sessions in the ACT in November 2006 to inform users about what Census data will be available and how it can be used.

    If you are interested in attending, you can contact gordon.knox@abs.gov.au from the ACT Regional Office for further information.

    How to access

    To access 2001 Census information and other ABS statistics free of charge, you can visit www.abs.gov.au.

    Census online

    For the first time this year, it will be possible to fill out a Census form online. The eCensus contains the latest encryption technology to ensure absolute privacy of all details sent to the ABS.

    Help raise awareness

    To ensure the Census is as complete and accurate as possible, organisations, government departments and individuals are invited to help raise awareness of the Census among the public. A range of display material is available from rod.campbell@abs.gov.au.

    New questions in 2006

    The Census form asks a range of questions, including usual residence, income, employment, education and ancestry. In 2006 there are three new topics:
    • whether a person needs assistance in core activities
    • the type of internet connection households have
    • whether voluntary or unpaid work is being carried out.

    ABS Retail and Wholesale Economic Activity Survey 2005-06

    The ABS is conducting a survey of retail and wholesale businesses in respect of the 2005-06 financial year. Survey questionnaires will be despatched to a sample of approximately 16,000 businesses across Australia in August 2006.

    The survey will provide a detailed snapshot of the retail and wholesale industries. Government policy makers and private sector analysts will use this information to assess the effectiveness of their policies and programs.

    Data available from the survey will include:
    • business counts, employment, income and expenses;
    • commodity sales and gross margins; and
    • selected performance indicators, e.g. operating profit before tax, industry value added.

    Data will be released in the publications Retail Industry, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8622.0), Wholesale Industry, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8638.0), and several associated spreadsheets. These products will be available for free download from the ABS web site in mid 2007. More detailed data may be available on a customised basis on request.

    Further information on the survey can be sought from William Milne (phone: 03 9615 7862) or go to the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au (Survey Participant Information - Retail and Wholesale Economic Activity Survey 2005-06).


    If you have ever needed to find out anything about the state of New South Wales, an extensive array of statistical information is now available in NSW In Focus (cat. no. 1338.1), released on 28 June 2006.

    NSW in Focus is a contemporary record of activity within the State, providing a wide range of statistics from both ABS and non-ABS sources. It contains ten chapters in all, each representing areas of social, economic or environmental importance: population, family and community, health, education and training, crime and justice, housing, household economic resources, economic activity, transport and environment. Within each chapter, a summary table presents a time series of key indicators, followed by more detailed statistics relating to issues identified within each domain. In total, the publication contains over 180 tables of data.

    NSW in Focus is an easy to use reference for government agencies, universities, other education facilities, research organisations and the general community. It is an annual publication, and is available in electronic form free of charge from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au. Print copies can be purchased online or by phoning 1300 135 070.

    The 13th biennial conference of the Australian Population Association

    The 13th biennial conference of the Australian Population Association will be held in Adelaide from 5-8 December 2006.

    With the theme "Population, Policy and Australia's Destiny", the conference is the showcase for demographers, population geographers, policy makers and planners to discuss contemporary issues relating to population studies.

    Highlights and key speakers include:
    • The W D Borrie Lecture
    • Professor Ian Pool, Professor of Demography, University of Waikato.
      Population and Policy
    • Professor Graeme Hugo, Federation Fellow and Professor of Geographical and Environmental Studies, University of Adelaide
    • Professor Peter McDonald, Professor of Demography and Head of the Demography and Sociology program, Australian National University
      Local and Regional population change
    • Ms Kate Atkinson, General Manager, City of Playford
    • Mr Peter Hall, Director Planning and Community Services, City of Victor Harbor
    • The Hon Greg Crafter, Population Policy consultant
    • Professor Barry Chiswick, Head and Research Professor, Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago
    • Dr Marla Asis, Director of Research and Publication, Scalabrini Migration Centre, Philippines
    • Dr Hania Zlotnik, Director, United Nations Population Division.

    Information on the conference, including registration and the call for papers can be found from the link at http://www.apa.org.

    Sponsors of this conference are The Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Government of South Australia, Department of Trade and Economic Development (major sponsors) and Australian government, Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (associate sponsor).

    Expected Major Annual & Irregular Releases


    ANZSCO – Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of
    Occupations, 2006(September)

    Australian Capital Territory in Focus, 2006 (September)

    Australian Capital Territory at a Glance, 2006 (September)

    ACT and Region . . . A Statistical Atlas, 2006 (August)

    Emergency Management Information Development Plan, 2006 (October)


    Cultural Funding by Government, Australia, 2004-05 (August)

    Environmental Expenditure, Local Government, Australia, 2004-05 (August)

    Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, 2004-05 (September)

    Characteristics of Australia’s Agricultural Water Users, 2000-01 to 2003-04 (October)

    National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Summary Booklet, 2004-05

    Indigenous Australians’ Involvement in the Arts and Cultural Heritage, 2001 and 2002 (August)

    Personal Safety, Australia, 2005 (August)

    Personal safety, Australia: User Guide, 2005 (August)

    Personal safety Survey, Australia: State tables, 2005 (August)

    Pregnancy and Work Transitions, Australia, Nov 2005, (September)


    International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Country Statistics 2005 (August)


    Producer and International Trade Price Indexes: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2005 (August)

    Australian Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2006 (September)


    Australian farming in Brief, 2006 (August)

    Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2004-05 (September)


    Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia, 2004-05 (August)

    Research and Experimental Development, Government and Private Non-Profit Organisations, Australia, 2004-05 (October)

    Research and Experimental Development: All Sector Summary, Australia, 2004-05 (October)

    Information and Communication Technology, Australia, 2004-05 (September)

    Cancer in Australia, 2002 (August)

    Characteristics of Small Business, Australia, 2005 (August)

    Use of Information Technology on farms, Australia, 2004-05 (August)

    Travel Agency Services Industry, Australia, 2003-04 (September)

    Gambling Services, Australia, 2004-05 (September)

    Sports Services, Australia, 2004-05 (August)


    Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 01 Nov 2004 to 31 Oct 2005 (September)

    This listing shows a selection of ABS publications expected to be released over the coming quarter. The expected month of release is shown in brackets. Release dates may vary from those shown. Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed on the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au. The web site also provides daily release information.

    Entry Points to the ABS ACT Office

    Office Hours: 9am to 4.30pm Mon to Fri Level 5
    33-35 Ainslie Avenue
    Canberra City
    Ph: (02) 6252 8900
    Fax: (02) 6247 2389
    Locked Bag 10
    CPI INFORMATION LINE1902 981 074
    (75c per minute)
    WEB SITE:www.abs.gov.au
    1300 135 070
    1300 135 211
    Regional Director: Karen Vitullo
    Assistant Director: Rhonda de Vos
    Project and Information Manager: Gordon Knox

    ACT Census Management Unit: Alan Masters
    02 6252 8914
    02 6252 8909
    02 6252 8922

    02 6252 8916
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      Return To : Tina Ryan, ACT ABS Office, Locked Bag 10, Belconnen, ACT 2616
      Phone (02) 6252 8904 Fax (02) 6247 2389 email: <tina.ryan@abs.gov.au>

    Commonwealth of Australia 2006

    This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights in this publication should be addressed to The Manager, Intermediary Management, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Locked Bag 10, Belconnen ACT 2616, by telephone (02) 6252 6998, fax (02) 6252 7102, or email <intermediary.management@abs.gov.au>.

    In all cases the ABS must be acknowledged as the source when reproducing or quoting any part of an ABS publication or other product.