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This bumper issue of Queensland's "Statistical Update" marks the beginning of a new direction for the Queensland ABS. We are forging ahead with an array of new collections, surveys and opportunities. Exciting initiatives of interest and great benefit to our clients include:
This is just an indication of the directions that the ABS is taking. Future issues of the Queensland "Statistical Update" will bring you progress reports on these initiatives and inform you of other data opportunities that will be of benefit to you as our valued clients.
IN THIS ISSUE...
Household and Family Projections
Christmas/New Year closure
ARE ABS DATA Y2K COMPLIANT?
Some ABS clients have expressed concern about whether or not ABS data is year 2000 compliant.
The short answer to this is that the concept of compliance does not apply to data. This is the case regardless of whether dates use 2 digits or 4 to represent the year. The Y2k problem is entirely related to how computer programs use year representations in calculations, and has nothing to do with the data.
Where years are represented by 4 digits, there is no ambiguity. Problems in processing dates may occur in cases where two digit years are used, and the programs processing them regard "00" as being something other than 2000.
There are two approaches being taken in dealing with the year 2000 problem. The obvious solution is to use 4 digit years. The other is to build inference rules into computer programs, so that when two digit years are encountered, the program can process them with predictable results. (These two approaches are not mutually exclusive, and both can be used at the same time - as is the case with Windows 3.11.) To be able to process two digit dates in a predictable way, programs need to have a rule built in which effectively says two digit years greater than xx are to be regarded as being in the 20th century, while dates less than or equal to xx are dates in the 21st century. The year chosen is called the "pivot date". For example, with a pivot date of "50", all years from 51 to 99 would be treated as if they had "19" in front of them, and all dates from 00 to 50 would be handled as if they had "20" in front of them.
There are two reasons why the use of 4 digit years is to be preferred: firstly, the use of pivot dates only puts the problem off for another generation of programmers to deal with, and secondly different programs may use different years as the pivot date, which could introduce other problems. Nevertheless, both approaches are being used.
The question you need to ask is not "Are ABS data Y2K compliant?" but rather "How do the programs I use to manipulate ABS data deal with dates?".
Have you tested ABS electronic products for year 2000 compliance?
The ABS strongly recommends that clients not rely solely on ABS testing and advice about the year 2000 compliance of products such as CDATA96. As noted above, some software may not handle dates predictably. The ABS has consistently warned against using ABS data and products with hardware or software which is not Y2k compliant. There is simply no way we can know what products our clients use, or test our products or data with all of them.
If you have tested ABS products or data and are willing to share information about your findings, we would appreciate the feedback. No one has contacted us to say they have found any problems with ABS products or data - which we might expect if any had occurred. However, if you have successfully tested our products or data, we would like to know that and let others know, too!
For further information, contact Chris Bridgland on (02) 6252 5023 or email@example.com
CULTURAL IDENTITY STANDARDS - A NEW PUBLICATION RELEASE
Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity, 1999 (Cat.no. 1289.0) was released 22nd November 1999.
This publication presents the standards for a set of variables which measure various aspects of cultural identity, including First Language Spoken, Religion, Australian Citizenship, Indigenous Status and Year of Arrival in Australia.
The ABS uses these standards in its publications and encourages their use by other government departments and community bodies generally.
For further information contact John Hodgson 02 6252 7074 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOCIAL REPORT ON OLDER PERSONS: OUT NOW
A social report on older persons was released in a major launch by the ABS on 15 December to celebrate 1999 the Year of the Older Person.
Older People, Australia: A Social Report 4109.0 covers most aspects of the lives of people aged 65 and over and includes information on national data and key social indicators. The major themes include:
State and Territory differences are also included as are summary tables which show the changes which have occurred over the last decade.
For further information contact: Andrew Webster on (02) 6252 7030 or email@example.com
CHANGES TO GOVERNMENT STATISTICS
An Information Paper titled Accrual-based Government Finance Statistics 1999 (Cat. no. 5517.0) will be released in the first half of 2000. The information paper will help users of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) understand the changed nature and presentation of the statistics. The paper will outline the conceptual changes to be reflected in government finance statistics and the changed format for the tables.
The ABS expects to publish the first accrual-based GFS in the next Government Financial Estimates (cat. no. 5501.0) in respect of data for 1998-99 and 1999-2000. This publication is expected to be released shortly after the Information Paper.
The ABS will also prepare a new edition of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat. no. 5514.0), which will contain detailed descriptions of the new concepts, classifications, data sources and methodology used in compiling the Australian GFS. This document is expected to be released in the latter half of 2000.
For further information contact Betty Gruber 02 6252 6178 firstname.lastname@example.org or Tulsi Ram 02 6252 6117 email@example.com
THE AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS STATSEXPO
Come mingle with ABS staff and develop an awareness of the capability of the ABS to service your statistical needs.
Guest Speaker Jonathan Palmer, Head of the Information Services Division, will address the future directions in access and delivery of ABS data. This will be followed by an opportunity to talk to ABS staff covering all services that the ABS offers.
StatsExpo will showcase some of the products and services offered by the ABS through colourful and interactive displays. StatsExpo stalls will cover the following areas:
A Date for your Diary
25 February 11.00am to 2.00pm
If you have any queries, please contact Terry O'Hagan on 07 3222 6424 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TAX REFORM CHANGES AND THE ABS
Federal Government Taxation Reform means many changes to the tax system. The most significant from the ABS point of view are the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST), introduction of an Australian Business Register (ABR) and Australian Business Number (ABN), the Review of Business Taxation (sometimes referred to as the Ralph Review) and introduction of a new Pay As You Go system for the consolidated payment of income and other taxes.
ABS is already working to maximise statistical benefits of the major taxation reforms taking effect next year. A Tax Reform Project Team has been established to handle statistical implications of the taxation changes.
The statistical implications will be very significant, and provide opportunities for enhancing the range of ABS economic statistics and State data. The Australian Statistician said that "these developments provide the ABS with the most significant opportunity we have had during my time at the ABS to change the way we design and conduct our business surveys."
The GST will be introduced from 1 July 2000. From that date wholesale sales tax will be replaced by a 10 per cent tax on all goods and services purchased in Australia. Businesses will be required to provide a Business Activity Statement (BAS) to the tax office each month or quarter depending on the size of the business.
It is expected that some of the data included on the BAS will be a valuable source of administrative by-product data which may be used to either substitute for, or supplement, data available from ABS collections. As a new source of economic data, it is also expected to provide opportunities for the ABS to produce new series which will satisfy unmet demand from our users. For example, data from the BAS for large businesses will be available on a monthly basis. The BAS data may also be used for more efficient estimation methodologies and more efficient sample designs that enable smaller samples. Smaller samples will contribute to further reduction in reporting burden placed on ABS providers.
The GST will have an impact on many of our existing series. For instance, reductions in wholesale sales tax rate will begin impacting on the CPI from September quarter 1999, due to the transitional reduction in the tax rate on selected goods, including televisions and stereos. The main impact will be reflected in September quarter 2000 with changes in price levels due to GST introduction. Any changed spending pattern by households will be reflected in our Household Expenditure Survey. In time, CPI weights will change as a result of changed household spending patterns.
In short, Tax Reform will affect most of our economic collections in one way or another.
For further information contact Judy Henson on (02) 6252 7326 or email@example.com
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has developed the Australian Standard Classification of Drugs of Concern (ASCDC) in response to increasing community recognition of the economic, health and social impacts of both licit and illicit drug use and the consequent wider interest in constructing statistical profiles relating to drug activity in Australia.
The ASCDC has been developed in consultation with relevant Commonwealth and State government departments, academics and other experts and organisations that are significant producers or users of drug-related data.
The ASCDC will assist government planners, policy analysts and social researchers by providing a consistent methodology for the classification of drug-related data. The use of standard classifications, frameworks and definitions will help to ensure the comparability and compatibility of data derived from a range of different statistical systems.
The draft classification structure and an information paper which briefly addresses the conceptual basis of the classification are available upon request in either hardcopy or electronic format. It is anticipated that the final version of the classification structure, explanatory material, and alphabetical and numerical order coding indexes will be incorporated in a publication to be released in May 2000.
ADVANCES IN AUSTRALIAN MORTALITY REPORTING AND ANALYSIS
Prior to 1997, the ABS only coded the underlying cause of death, but since January 1997, the ABS coded all causes of death reported by the certifier (multi-cause coding).
The ABS is further enhancing causes of death data by introducing the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) for mortality coding. ICD-10 will roughly double the number of codes available for classificatory purposes and will assist in providing data which is more suited to the exacting task of analysing trends in causes of death.
ICD-10 is being used to code all deaths in Australia registered on or after 1 January 1999. Output based on ICD-10 is expected to be published late in 2000. To lengthen the time series and provide a link between statistics the ABS will 'back code' 1997 and 1998 data.
In conjunction with the introduction of ICD-10, the ABS produced an updated complimentary booklet "Cause of Death Certification, Australia" to provide current guidelines for Doctors completing Medical Certificates of Cause of Death. Copies can be obtained by telephoning 1800 620 963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The introduction of ICD-10 is a further step in making Australian mortality data more useful as an analytical and statistical tool. The ABS continues to work with the State and Territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages and other stakeholders to update the Certificate of Cause of Death so that it better facilitates accurate reporting of mortality information.
For further information contact Maryanne Wood on 07 3222 6076 or email@example.com
CENSUS 2001 UPDATE
Although the next Australian Census of Population and housing will not take place until 7 August 2001, planning for this massive operation is already well underway.
Qualitative market research into census clients' views on both the overall 1996 Census output strategy and specific 1996 Census products and services was conducted in April this year. A number of important issues were identified in this research including general endorsement of the data being released in two phases, the need for strict adherence to published release dates and the growing demand for on-line access to data.
The ABS is in the final stages of a large user consultation phase. This phase sought views on the proposed strategic goals and directions for the 2001 Census output Program. Based on the results of this consultation, the ABS will develop specific proposals for the 2001 Census Output program, including the development of prototypes for 2001 Census products and services. These prototypes will be circulated for comment in July 2000.
In other 2001 Census developments, the first major test of the main systems and procedures used in conducting a census has already taken place. The first major census 'test', in which 20,000 people participated, occurred on 10 August 1999. Forms from this test are currently being processed and the answers received will help to identify and iron out any bugs before the 'dress rehearsal' to be conducted in May 2000.
For regular Census Updates :
FREIGHT MOVEMENTS TO MEET NEED FOR TRANSPORT STATISTICS
The ABS Freight Movements Survey (FMS) will collect information on goods transported by rail, sea, air and road within Australia on an annual basis. The new survey can be regarded as a hybrid census/sample survey collection. This is because while rail, sea and air movements are collected from all major operators in what is essentially a census, a sample survey methodology will be used to collect information on goods transported by road.
Data items to be collected in the survey include:
The survey has been developed in response to demands made to the ABS for more data about the size and characteristics of the transport task. In 1997 major users of ABS freight statistics were asked to provide comments on their current and future needs as input into the new survey framework. The review confirmed that the availability of key statistics relating to freight flows between geographic areas (whether they are inter-regional or intra-urban) is a high priority unmet need.
Strong demand exists for statistical information to assist in the following areas:
The availability of freight statistics for the development of transport policies and the efficient allocation of resources is considered by senior transport planners to be essential.
The FMS will be conducted initially for one year from April 2000. Initial results from the first survey are expected to be available in late 2001.
For further information contact Eddie Maitland on 07 3222 6336 or firstname.lastname@example.org
REVIEW OF STATE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION PUBLICATIONS RESULTS
Recently the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a review of the publication program of the State Building and Construction Publications. The main reason behind the review was the need to reallocate resources within the construction program to tackle pressing quality control issues associated with the introduction of private certification.
Outcomes from the consultation phase
There was a widespread view that moving from a monthly to a quarterly release was acceptable, although there were a number of concerns about the timeliness of approvals releases if we moved to combine the Building Activity and Building Approvals publications.
We propose converting the State Building Approvals publications from a monthly to a quarterly issue, whilst still intending to move to a combined publication in the longer term.
When will the changes be implemented?
The exact timing of the changes still requires confirmation. The March issue is anticipated to be the first of the quarterly issues. The main tables will still show monthly data but the Statistical Local Area (SLA) table will contain data for the quarter. Subscribers will be individually advised before changes are made.
How much more will it cost?
For subscribers to the State publications the cost will drop with the fewer number of issues. The price of the Australian publication will increase marginally to reflect the increase in the number of pages.
How do we get monthly SLA data if we still require it?
A monthly SLA table will still be prepared and will be made available free of charge to subscribers for the remainder of the 2000 subscription year.
What additional State data will be included in the monthly Australian Building Approvals publication?
It is proposed to include additional time series for each State in the Australian publication. The series we are currently considering are:
Only original data is available for Tasmania, NT and the ACT.
We require financial year SLA approvals data. How do we get it?
This data has always been available as a Special Data Service and will continue to be. There are no plans to include this table in the publications.
Will SLA level Building Activity data (including commencements and completions) now be available?
SLA Building Activity data will not be released in the monthly publication. This is because the Building Activity Survey is a sample survey and SLA level data is not available for the sampled sector ie houses and alterations and additions to residential buildings. It is however available for the completely enumerated strata ie other residential dwellings and non-residential building.
For further information contact Richard Mason on 08 8237 7663 or email@example.com
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is undertaking a review of the Import Price Index (IPI) and the Export Price Index (EPI). The IPI and EPI are published in Import Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6414.0) and Export Price Index, Australia (Cat. no. 6405.0) respectively. The ABS is inviting client comment on the use and usefulness of the IPI and EPI. Comments are due back to the ABS by December 1999.
The key objective of the index reviews is to ensure that the ABS continues to compile measures of import and export prices appropriate for the main purposes for which they are used. With this in mind, the ABS is seeking input from clients on :
Major known uses of the IPI include the estimation of national accounts and balance of payments volume aggregates and the analysis of inflation. The EPI is used for volume estimation and economic analysis. The ABS is very interested in being advised of any other major uses of the indexes. Feedback on a range of proposed technical changes to the indexes would also be appreciated.
In line with established practice, clients will be informed of the review outcomes. Results of the review are expected to be implemented in the September quarter 2000 release of each of the index publications.
For further information contact David Collins on 02 6252 6248 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HOUSEHOLD AND FAMILY PROJECTIONS
HOUSEHOLD AND FAMILY PROJECTIONS NOW AVAILABLE
A new publication, Household and Family Projections, Australia 1996 to 2021 (Cat No. 3236.0) contains projections about the living arrangements for Australian families and households from 1996 to 2021. It contains national, state and territory, capital city and balance of state information and covers:
Analysis is presented at the individual, family and household levels.
Household and family projections are based on assumptions about changing living arrangements of the population. These projections are not intended to predict where we will be in 2021, but rather where we are currently heading.
Queensland projections include:
Second Highest Household Growth in Australia
Fastest Population Growth
Decreasing Average Household Size
Increase in Lone Persons Households
High Growth Rate for Families
Couple Families Without Children Increase Rapidly
For further information contact Sue Taylor on 02 6252 6141 or email@example.com
ELECTRONIC ACCESS TO DETAILED LABOUR FORCE DATA
For more than 20 years, Labour Force data has been sent out to clients each month on microfiche. After the release of December 1999 data, this service will stop. For a long time, clients have been asking for a more modern form of detailed data and we are pleased to be able to provide data in the most modern way - electronically, via the Internet.
Data 'cubes' containing a wide range of detailed monthly Labour Force estimates will be available through PC Ausstats and will be in SuperTABLE format. SuperTABLE is table creation software which allows clients to create tables using any or all of the fields in a cube. Tables can be manipulated, rearranged, printed, saved or exported to a spreadsheet. SuperTABLE is very user friendly and easy to learn.
The data cubes will be updated every month with the most recent Labour Force estimates, and a long time series of historical data will also be available. The system is currently under development and example cubes will be available shortly.
For further information contact Donna Maurer on 02 6252 5276 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2000 - 2001 LABOUR FORCE SUPPLEMENTARY SURVEY PROGRAM
The following labour force topics will be collected through the Monthly Population Supplementary Survey program in 2000 and 2001. Output from these surveys is generally available about 6 months after the data collection phase of each survey.
For further information please contact Greg Lawrence on 07 3222 6497 or email@example.com
NEW DATA ON INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY HOUSING INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS
The Community Housing Infrastructure Needs Survey (CHINS) was conducted on behalf of ATSIC from August to October
1999. The survey included all known Indigenous organisations that manage or own community housing, with additional infrastructure information collected for all identified discrete Indigenous communities.
Housing information includes the number, condition and size of community houses, repairs and maintenance expenditure and amount of rent collected. Infrastructure information includes details of water supply and quality, power supply, sewerage, drainage and solid waste. Transport and communication issues, as well as access to education, health and other community facilities were also included.
An ABS publication is expected to be released by end March 2000 presenting summary information at the National and State levels (including Northern Territory), as well as containing maps showing the distribution of Indigenous housing organisations and discrete communities across Australia. Other products are being developed for ATSIC which will present data at the community and ATSIC Region levels. These products will also be available to other organisations.
For further information contact Trevor Imhoff on 02 6252 7769 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the Queensland review of Collector District (CD) geographic boundaries for the 2001 Census, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Community CD's are being redesigned to different criteria.
For the 2001 Census, most communities will be given a physical boundary around the actual community centre. This CD will include only those persons staying within the boundary on census night. A point CD is then created to include all persons at the outstations of that community on census night. A point CD would also be created for any outstations of that community in a different Local Government Area (LGA). If an outstation is large enough, that is greater than 50 persons, a bounded CD would be created for that outstation.
Previously, communities were represented by a point CD which included all persons associated with that community including outstations. If the CD met population criteria, it was then allocated a Section of State code. Communities with a population of greater than 200 persons but less than 1000 were given a Locality Code, and those with a population greater than 1000 were given Other Urban Centre code.
These changes will allow users to get a more accurate estimate of residents in the community with a separate figure for outstations.
For further information contact Keith Venton on 07 3222 6387 or email@example.com
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN ESTIMATES FOR TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER POPULATION
In recent years, there has been growing demand from a variety of research organisations, government departments and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations for estimates of the size of the Torres Strait Islander population as separate from the Aboriginal population.
To meet some of this need, the ABS has offered to retrospectively produce experimental estimates of the Torres Strait Islander population for census years.
In the first instance estimates, by sex and age groups, will be produced as at 30 June 1996.
For further information contact Phil Browning on (02) 6252 7083 or firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GEOGRAPHY DIMENSION
What is the ASGC?
The Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC) is a hierarchical classification system used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the collection and dissemination of a wide range of statistics for various geographic areas within each State. The main purpose of the ASGC is to provide statistics with a "where" dimension.
The ASGC is composed of various geographical areas, or spatial units, which aggregate to higher level units. Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) are small general purpose spatial units which are either Local Government Areas (LGAs), or aggregate to form an LGA. The 449 SLAs within Queensland aggregate to form 30 Statistical Subdivisions (SSD) and 12 Statistical Divisions (SD) which cover the entire state.
On 1 July each year a new edition of the ASGC comes into effect. Queensland boundaries have changed in the 1999 Edition of the ASGC at a number of spatial levels. Changes may or may not be of statistical significance, depending on whether or not there is a significant transfer of households or economic units from one spatial unit to another.
Significant Changes between ASGC Editions 1998 and 1999
Why have the boundaries changed?
The ASGC is updated in response to two types of changes:
What do these changes mean for the user?
For further information contact Lynne Peterson on 07 3222 6405 or email@example.com
CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR CLOSURE
NOTICE OF CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR CLOSURE
The public access areas of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in all States and Territories, will close at 4.30pm Christmas Eve and re-open at 8.30am Tuesday, 4 January, 2000. There are no ABS releases scheduled during this time.
During this temporary closure there will not be access to:
Although we will be closed, ABS clients will still be able to access a range of ABS data sources. These include:
The Dial-A-Statistic service 1900 986 400 (call cost 75c per minute) offers data on key national indicators such as:
The CPI Infoline 1902 981 074 (call cost 75c per minute) provides current and historical CPI data.
For further information contact Mark Chalmers on 07 3222 6307 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ABS QLD CONTACT POINTS
Telephone Inquiry Service
Telephone 07 3222 6351 or for Deaf Clients TTY 07 3222 6325.
Consultants will assist with your statistical inquiries.
Current for-sale copies of ABS publications and floppy disks. Visit us on the 18th floor at 313 Adelaide St; open 8.30am - 4.30pm
The Library is situated alongside our bookshop and provides a complete range of ABS current and historical publications.
State Government Contact
Telephone (07) 3222 6083
Telephone (07) 3222 6068
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